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When We Don't Feel Gratitude...


Have you ever created a daily gratitude list?


I’ve tried a few times in my life, and every time it seems to last no more than a week.


Typically, what happens is this - I’m doing great, cruising along with my daily list, writing 10 things that I’m grateful for every night like clockwork… Then BAM! I have a crappy day and resent having to find something to be grateful for, so I dump the whole practice.

Yet we all know how powerful gratitude can be.

We hear about the ability of gratitude to literally transform our lives - How seeing our lives through eyes of gratitude allows us to embrace what’s working, and our grateful energy attracts more of the types of things and people we’re grateful for into our lives.


It’s true. It works!

But what about the times when life feels heavy, and trying to list the things we’re grateful for seems like yet another chore?

What about when so many things seem to be going wrong in our lives, that it almost feels as if we’re mocking ourselves by trying to find things to be grateful for?


Sure, when things are going great, we’re motivated, surrounded by supportive friends, feeling healthy and energized… it’s easy to find things to be grateful for!


But when it feels like we can’t take one more moment of pain or boredom or lack of motivation… what then?

What do we do when our minds know the power of gratitude, but we’re just not feeling it in our hearts?

When we know that if we could just switch our thoughts to a place of seeing all we have to be grateful for, we could turn the corner toward a more positive, healthy outlook.

But, like a tired, hungry toddler, WE DON’T WANNA!


What then?


We don’t need to toss the gratitude baby out with the funky bathwater.

Here’s my favorite little “life hack” for times like this:

Scrap the gratitude list and create a “What’s not wrong?” list.


What’s NOT wrong?

The sun is shining.

I have food to eat.

I’m breathing.

I have clean underwear.

My dog loves me….

The power in the “What’s not wrong” list is that it takes the pressure off. We don’t have to find monumental things that we’re grateful for; we just spit out things that aren’t wrong.

Instead of forcing us to fake a positive attitude we just aren’t feeling, this practice meets us where we are.

All we need to do is start the list and let it flow! Let every single thing that’s NOT wrong in your life pour out onto the page.


This little exercise packs a punch. If you keep listing until you can no longer think of anything else, you will discover a few things:

  1. You have many things that are good in your life.

  2. Your mood will shift, even if only a tiny bit, by time you get to the end of your list.

  3. You will have created that dang gratitude list after all. ;)

Sometimes that word “gratitude” can feel paralyzing.

When life feels heavy, “grateful” is the last thing we feel. But we can hack our way into the very same state of mind and the benefits it brings, by simply ferreting out what’s not wrong.


I hope this little exercise brings you joy as it does for me, on the days when you’re just not feeling it, and allows you to see how many beautiful things in your life are “not wrong.”


All my love and gratitude,

Xx Jen

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