Do you secretly swear internally when someone cheerfully tells you you have so much to be thankful for?
When you’re going through dark times, practicing gratitude can feel more like a mandatory exercise than a genuine act. I mean, when you suffer excruciating pain every day, struggle to make ends meet or are grieving the loss of a loved one, it’s hard to feel grateful for the things that are going well.
And yet, that’s exactly what happiness research tells you to do. Study after study shows that gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to feel happier. Being thankful improves your mental health, boosts your resilience and helps you cope better with everyday stress.
“It’s not that happy people are grateful, it’s that grateful people are happier.” – Erik Barker
But how do you cultivate gratitude when you feel sick, sad, disconnected or cheated on by life?
Don’t just go through the motions. True thankfulness goes deeper than rattling off a list of things you know you’re supposed to feel grateful for, like having a roof over your head and food on the table. Practicing gratitude shouldn’t be a chore. You can only tap into a deeper experience of gratefulness when you sincerely like to make your life – and that of the people around you – better.
Here’s how you can feel thankful for the good things in life, even when life is hard.