I confess… some days I don’t feel thankful. On those days I can still make of list of all my blessings, but instead of it propelling feelings of gratitude it makes me feel guilty. It’s a horrible feeling to be trying to feel something you know you should feel but aren’t. Does that ever happen to you?
When this happens to me I’m probably not feeling very happy, or at least not happy in that moment. So, instead of trying to feel something that I’m not feeling, I do something.
I try to help someone or finish a project I’ve been putting off or call someone I haven’t talked to in a while or go to yoga or find a funny animal video. I try to get out of my head and focus on living. That usually makes me feel happier and something magical starts to happen — that thankful feeling finds me.
Another reason that my happy disappears, I get overwhelmed. It can happen anytime but the holidays get extra stressful because there are just too many to-do’s and too few hours to do them.
I’m human not a robot. I have extra to-do’s and I’m also trying to spend more time with family and friends. My family and friends are wonderful (wink, wink) but some dynamics can make staying happy a challenge for the happiest people.
When all of this extra holiday hoopla overwhelms me, my feelings go numb and I’m simply moving from one task to the other. If I get too tired I just get mad over silly stuff like traffic or lines at the store. If it gets that far, then I just have to take a time out. Yes, I treat myself like I’m five.
I take a cat nap, do some deep breathing, my favorite alternate nostril breathes when my head is spinning, or even shed a few tears. It’s difficult to be in the present when my overwhelmedness has short-circuited my emotions. If I’m not preset in the moment I won’t feel happy or grateful.
If you’ve lost that thankful feeling don’t fight it. Instead, slow down so you can get involved in the present and find your happy again. Some say gratitude makes you feel happy but sometimes being happy helps you feel thankful.
Need a gift for your favorite happy person?