Gratitude in unhappy or annoying situations

gratitude mindset Jan 27, 2021

This article originally appeared in {Upgrade with Nelly} newsletter issue #6 (February 11, 2020)


Last week I set the following goal:

Be grateful
Pause more often.  

Notice blessings.
See the cup half full.
Judge others favorably.

It was fairly easy for me to be happy about my blessings and to feel good when things are going well. I have been "practicing gratitude" for a while by saying blessings before I eat, thanking everyone who holds the door for me, and without any effort enjoying a sunny day.

When it came to annoying or unhappy situations, however, gratitude did not come as smoothly. I hate housework: loading the dishwasher, folding laundry, changing beddings, and tidying up toys are not my ideas of a good time.  I highly dislike all of it...and yet, I love a clean house.  This morning as I was noticing myself feeling very annoyed and overwhelmed, I decided to reframe.    
I'm grateful that I have a big family and a big home.  (instead of: why is there so much laundry)  I'm grateful that I did the decluttering challenge last month.  As a result, there are 1,000 fewer objects to maintain  (instead of: I just loaded the dishwasher last night)

Tip: The place to begin your journey is to focus on the things that are already going well.  The next level is to take all the annoying, frustrating, unhappy situations, and find gratitude in them!

My measurable goals for this week regarding gratitude: 1. Make a daily list of 10 things I'm grateful for.  2. Find 5 situations that I'm particularly unhappy about and reframe my thinking to find something to be grateful for*.  

*IMPORTANT - This does NOT mean that if we are unhappy about something we should just accept it as is and learn to be grateful.  NO!  Of course, we should do everything possible to improve the situation.  However, as we are doing that, we can still use all opportunities to practice gratitude.


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