4 Ways to Practice Gratitude when You Don’t Feel Grateful

If you believe ingratitude creates a bright feature, good luck.

Ingratitude is toxic to you and destructive to your future. Gratitude delivers unequalled benefit.

Image of a spoon being filled with honey.


The Big Five have been used for years to predict wellbeing and success. I’ve listed them below for your review.

The Big Five are undeniably important, but gratitude is a greater predictor of wellbeing than the Big Five. (Wood, Joseph, Maltby)

This doesn’t mean the Big Five aren’t important. It means gratitude is disproportionately powerful.


You’re not a hypocrite if you practice gratitude when you don’t feel grateful.

It’s virtue, not hypocrisy, when you feel like losing your temper, but don’t.

It’s character, not hypocrisy, if you show up for work when you’d rather be on vacation.

It’s always good to do a good thing even when you’d rather not do it.

Aspiration means you aren’t there yet. You can sincerely aspire to a good thing, even if you don’t feel like doing it.

Act your way into feeling instead of feeling your way into acting.

A collection of ‘trivial’ actions creates substantial impact.

4 ways to practice gratitude when you don’t feel grateful:

#1. Reflect on negative experiences you have overcome.

#2. Record one thing in a gratitude journal every morning and evening.

A few years ago I started writing five things in my gratitude journal every morning, but five was burdensome. I became ungrateful for my gratitude journal. Now when I journal about gratitude, I write ONE THING. Sometimes I write more. Other times, one is enough.

#3. Start gratitude conversations.

Ask people what they are thankful for. Better yet, ask, “Who are you grateful to?”

#4. Express gratitude.

Unexpressed gratitude is ungratefulness.

  1. Lower your expectations. Notice little things.
  2. Say, “I appreciate you.”
  3. Say, “I notice xyz. Thank you for doing that.”

How might leaders practice gratitude today?

What prevents people from practicing gratitude?

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