Gratitude is an amazingly warm fuzzy feeling that can open your heart and melt all your stresses away. It’s physically impossible to be in a state of gratitude and stressed at the same time (the two cannot coexist). In other words, you have the power to choose!

It’s pretty easy to access this grateful state when things are going well, such as: getting a promotion, celebrating your birthday, or eating a delicious donut. 🙂

But how can you feel grateful when you’re feeling angry, exhausted, or frustrated? On those days, it might seem impossible to feel appreciative of anything. The good news is that gratitude is like a muscle; the more you work at it, the more automatic the reaction becomes. 

Here’s three STEPS to help you build that gratitude muscle.

1) PREPARATION.  Every time something good happens to you, write it down. It doesn’t matter how big or small the situation is (a call from a friend, a delicious meal, a gorgeous sunset, etc.), jot it down in your phone or notebook. I find it easiest to write these items down right before I get to bed, especially since it allows me to reflect on my day. 

The point of this exercise is to condition your mind to identify the good moments of your life, instead of only focusing on the bad.

2) SUPER SIZE IT. The next step is to consciously ponder over the list you created (if you haven’t built up a list, you can think back to any other memory that makes you feel happy). When you recall these joyful occasions from your life, close your eyes and think about why you found beauty in those moments. Picture every detail of the experience. Remember what was said and how you felt. This is a crucial step, which is why I will guide you through a meditation at the end that will show you how to do this. 

3) REPETITION Do this meditative practice at the same time every day (for me, I prefer at night before I go to bed). You probably wouldn’t expect to become a bodybuilder after one day at the gym. On the same token, gratitude requires a regular workout to gain the full long-term benefits. Thankfully, this exercise feels much better than doing deadlifts! 

This meditation is especially useful because even if you feel like nothing good happened that day because we can choose something from anytime in your life!

Let me know how it goes and remember even if you write just two small things you appreciate from your day (clean water, a bed to sleep in) it’s better than none at all.

If you enjoyed this and want to try a longer Gratitude Meditation to download and listen to every night head HERE.