From an early age, most of us have been trained in the habit of gratitude. “Please and thank you” has been drilled into our heads since before we could even utter the words. You ask for something. You receive it. And you express your appreciation — your gratitude — to the giver.
Implied in this rule, as most people practice it, is that a) you’ve been given something you’ve consciously desired to receive, and b) you tangibly possess it.
In those situations, gratitude is pretty easy to access.
But ideally, gratitude should be an ongoing, all-encompassing state of mind. And as we all know, life is not an ongoing, all-encompassing experience of being visibly surrounded by people, circumstances, and things we really, really thought we wanted.
If fact, sometimes it feels like just the opposite.
So how do you achieve a consistent gratitude mindset in those moments when you specifically feel a LACK of gratitude?
By practicing gratitude, of course!
3 ways to increase your Gratitude Quotient today
Here are three simple ways to fill in your “gratitude gaps” and start developing a more constant attitude of gratitude:
1) Be grateful for something that hasn’t yet manifested in your life.
If you’ve expressed your desire to the universe, then it already exists. The fact that your bank account/job title/relationship status doesn’t reflect it yet should not prevent you from issuing a deeply-felt “thank you” for that which is moving towards you. Doing so will dramatically speed up the process.
2) Be grateful for something you have but don’t want.
Maybe that leaky toilet has given rise to some great family stories. Maybe your long commute has enabled you to listen to audio programs you otherwise wouldn’t have had time for. Dig deep to find the good in the “bad”. If you come up short, simply say, “I’m grateful for the opportunity this challenging experience has brought my way, even though it is not yet visible to me.” You will be harmonizing with the flow of the universe, instead of fighting it. You’ll also feel calmer, happier, and more in control of your life.
3) Be grateful for something someone else has.
Envy is destructive. Why waste your precious mental resources resenting someone for having something you are fully capable of creating for yourself? But it’s also instructive. Take the emotion away, and being envious simply means you’ve been exposed to a possibility in life you weren’t previously aware of, and have a clear idea of something you want. Be thankful for, not jealous of, people whose abundance has heightened your own desire for abundance. They’ve given you a great gift!
Wallace Wattles had this to say about the power of gratitude in The Science of Getting Rich:
When good things come to us, the more gratefully we fix our mind
on the Supreme Power, the more good things we will receive — and
the more rapidly they will come. The reason for this is simply that
the mental attitude of gratitude draws the mind into closer touch with
the source from which the blessings come.
Keep gratefully fixing your mind on the good — especially when it feels difficult or even contradictory to do so. You’ll soon find the gaps are fewer, the gratitude more accessible, and the blessings more abundant than ever.