How to Practice Gratitude When You Don’t Feel Like It

how to practice gratitude

I have recently been obsessed — well maybe obsessed is too strong a word — preoccupied with frustration and sadness about the physical effects of getting older.

It has really hit me that this aging thing is happening. The face and body I had in my youth are gone forever, and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I find myself looking in the mirror and thinking mean things about myself, like it’s my fault that I’m getting older. Maybe you can relate.

The other night, I listened to an interview with Oprah and Eckhart Tolle on appearance and the impermanence of physical beauty. Eckhart mentions, “It is the destiny of all form to dissolve,” and so we must learn to practice acceptance. With acceptance you create space around your suffering, find peace, and uncover a doorway to exploring the deeper dimensions of self without the attachment to the outward appearance.

As I listened to him speaking, I realized I could make a huge shift in my thinking. Rather than fear and resist aging, I could be grateful for it. I don’t say this blithely just to boost myself up or try to “see the glass half full.” I just began to view the flip side of getting older. I am free to be less attached to my physical form and worried about appearance. I can explore the “deeper dimensions” of myself, enjoy more inner peace, and acknowledge how profoundly grateful I am for so many things that will in time pass away.

There are constantly situations in life that frustrate us, make us angry, sad, or anxious. Some estimates suggest we have around 45,000 negative thoughts a day, which is about 80 percent of our total daily thoughts. Most of our thoughts are far from grateful. In truth, we spend a lot of time pissed off at life. When we’re steeped in negativity, it’s nearly impossible to see all of the blessings and beauty around us.

Here’s how to practice gratitude when you don’t feel like it. 

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Pre-Holiday Sale: Get 3 Books For $.99 Each

book-sale-e1416408839862Are you starting to think about holiday gifts? We’re just five weeks away from Christmas, and if you or the people on your gift list love self-improvement, this is a great week to stock up on my books.

I’m running a special Pre-Holiday $.99 Sale on three of my books:

25 Things To Remember When Low Self-Esteem Kicks Your Butt

25 Things To RememberThere was a time in my life when I didn’t believe in myself. Having grown up in your average dysfunctional family, I found myself in the role of peacekeeper and people pleaser from a young age.

I believed if I was compliant and accommodating, I could keep everyone happy and prevent the wackadoodle behavior… Continue Reading…

How To Fix A Relationship With A “Couple Bubble”

how to fix a relationship

Have you ever considered going to a relationship therapist to help you and your significant other work through conflict?

Frustration, fighting, and detachment are common problems in marriage or any intimate relationship, but when you learn how to create a “couple bubble,” you have a powerful platform for quickly regaining trust… Continue Reading…

30 Signs Of Emotional Abuse In A Relationship

30 signs of emotional abuseNothing is more damaging to your confidence and self-esteem than being in an emotionally abusive relationship.

Unlike physical abuse which rears its ugly head in dramatic outbursts, emotional abuse can be more insidious and elusive. In some cases, neither the abuser nor the victim are fully aware it’s happening.

The most obvious scenario for emotional… Continue Reading…

Positive Mental Attitude: 10 Mindsets For Happiness

positive mental attitudeYou have somewhere around 45,000 negative thoughts a day.

Not just you — everyone does.

That’s about 80% of all of your thoughts. The vast majority of our thoughts are unpleasant, stressful, or self-sabotaging. Our brains are like a network news channel, only reporting the bad stuff with a sprinkling of good news to keep… Continue Reading…

5 Mindfulness Exercises To Reduce Stress And Reclaim Joy

mindfulness exercisesOver the last hour, where has your mind been?

Have you been intently focused on something, or has your mind been bouncing around from your to-do list, to the phone ringing, to your worries, and then on to any number of unrelated thoughts and distractions?

All of that mental chatter is exhausting, especially since most… Continue Reading…