Supercharge your Gratitude practice with this simple question


Maybe by now this blog has been getting you in the groove of gratitude. Possibly doing a gratitude journal, collecting a gratitude jar with your family or sharing "gratefuls" every night with a trusted soul. Whatever it is, hopefully gratitude has infiltrated your life as it has mine in the most friendly and magical of ways. But every now and then every practice needs a boost, a supercharge! This simple question helped me do just that.

It's sometimes easy to have gratitude when things are going well. (don't get me wrong, that's a great time to practice gratitude. It's like building a reservoir of the beauteous things in your life for when things get challenging!) A little more difficult to find those beautiful things when you are distracted by something not so easy, right? Like remembering your health or loving family when things are going downhill at work. But when things are really hairy and you try to find gratitude right there in the thick of the crisis, that's when the practice gets the toughest. 

This is one simple question you can try when things are really spiraling in a direction that has you stressed, scared, or in a downright funk. Stare that sucker, whatever it is giving you such a hard time, head on, take a deep breath, and ask,

"I wonder what I will be grateful for when I look back on this...?"

You may not believe anything could come out of this at the moment but just play along with me and try to ask that. You are imagining when you look back without emotion, what you will learn.

"When I don't feel so horrible, I wonder what this will have taught me?"

It's a simple question to ask, not an easy one to believe. But the more you ask it, the more you will see how this will take your gratitude practice to a new level. 

When you ask this kind of question, you are instantly without knowing doing the sneakiest thing to your brain...You are searching for the gratitude and the good right in the middle of disaster. You may not see it right then but you are training your brain to LOOK for it. When we are in the middle of badness, emotional or physical, our brain is getting the signal to look for more bad. We are so good at that. Your job is to give your brain a little nudge to look for something else. 

And once your brain gets used to looking, eventually it finds something. Even if it's much later, you find it. And slowly but surely, you become a seeker of the beauty in the roughness. The light that comes from the dark. 

Start asking and see what happens. Let me know what you find. 

Live well,

Tanmeet SethiComment