Gratitude as Your Survival Kit

Jun 5, 2024 | Gratitude | 0 comments

If you’ve been subscribed to my Blog and emails for a while, you won’t be surprised that I consider Gratitude as a beautiful way to create positivity and connection. And that Gratitude is also a powerful emotion to help us be more resilient. 

And, despite practicing gratitude daily, it’s still easy to slide into finding what’s wrong in the world. Easy to find hardships, horrors, challenges, and complicated issues. You can find them in the world at large, the community around you, your own life. And that can be painful. So how can you also appreciate what’s good in your life too? 

That’s where gratitude comes in. 

Gratitude encourages us to identify some amount of goodness in our life — even when there is pain, struggle, or hardship. Gratitude brings more joy and connection at any time, and when times are hard, gratitude can lift us up. 

Practicing gratitude even when the world is on fire isn’t an act of turning a blind eye, but one of resistance and resilience.   

Gratitude for Resistance and Resilience

Gratitude boosts positivity and mental health. As humans, we have a negativity bias. That makes it easy to focus on what’s not working, what’s going wrong. Gratitude helps us find the good, and the more we do that, the easier it gets to find more. 

Focusing only on the negative is demoralizing. We can feel helpless or hopeless in the face of all that is wrong. Finding the good in our lives, giving thanks or appreciation shifts that. It gives us more capacity to withstand the hard stuff — and more energy to take positive action. 

How to Build Your Gratitude Muscles 

Practicing gratitude regularly is powerful. And there are many ways to practice. The key is finding a practice that resonates with YOU. If something resonates, you’re more likely to do it and keep doing it. And I find that once I start seeing the good, I start to see more goodness.

Two Private Gratitude Practices to Consider:

The simplest way to practice is to ask yourself, “What am I grateful for today?” Or “What am I grateful for at this moment?”  Or “What is good right now?”

If you pause, not only to feel the gratitude, but also jot down what you’re grateful for in that moment, it’s like taking a breath and resetting your mindset. Because we don’t always have time or opportunity at the moment to write a long description, I use the Notes section on my phone. I can read back over my list and revisit other things I was grateful for, which builds on the practice. 

Another way to build on your practice is to write more thoroughly about the experience that made you feel grateful. Add sensory details that really help you remember the experience. Then write why it made you feel grateful. This practice will help create a strong memory and help rewire your brain for positivity.  


A Connecting Gratitude Practice

Expressing your gratitude to others can also boost your gratitude muscles. Did someone do a kind act or made you feel seen or helped you feel belonging? Why not send them a message letting them know how it made you feel? 

You could also: 

  • Make a list of people you appreciate in your life now. Just the act of making the list is a gratitude practice. Extend it by sending a note to the people on that list. You can write one a day or one a week … whatever feels doable.
  • Write a gratitude note to somebody from your past — maybe a teacher or mentor you didn’t acknowledge or somebody whose impact was felt later. 

Gratitude — both expressed privately and that is shared with others — has a big impact.

Build Your Gratitude Habit  

How do you make it a habit? 

Try pairing it with something else you already do. For example – Right after I brush my teeth, I list three things I’m grateful for.  

Try setting a reminder that pops up on your phone right before bed if you are planning to end your day with gratitude. 

Join me for 7 Days of Gratitude. Each day, for 7 days, I’ll send you a short exercise to try, including ways you can take gratitude deeper. 

If you have a gratitude practice, you can refresh it with some new ideas. If you don’t have a gratitude practice, you can use this week to start building a habit. You’ll get an email from me each day for 7 days with different ways to practice, share and create gratitude. 

If you’re already on my list, you’re already in! If you don’t get my emails, subscribe here to receive my twice monthly emails and special events, including 7 Days of Gratitude. We start June 17.

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Hi, I’m Melanie!

I’m a Journaling and Joy Coach and I believe your story is the key to the life you want.

I guide my clients through intentional processes to find the answers waiting for you in your stories, bringing compassion, deep listening — and fun — to the process.

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