Here’s something surprising that I noticed as I established my lunchtime gratitude practice: Occasionally I don’t want to feel good, and so I don’t want to practice gratitude! The other day something horrible happened in my community, and I felt afraid and sad. I was so shocked and wigged out that I didn’t want to reflect on what was going well in my life at lunchtime. There were loads of good things happening in my life as well, of course, but I just didn’t feel like paying attention to them. I needed time to wallow. In a weird way, I wanted to feel bad.
Maybe you’ve had a similar experience. Maybe you are having one of those days where it feels good to feel bad. Or cynical. Or sour. So what’s a grouchy gal (or guy) to do?
Option #1: Avoid your anchor or trigger, and skip your gratitude practice. The world isn’t going to stop spinning if you don’t practice gratitude for one day, but your habit will get all fouled up if you skip it after your designated anchor or cue. So on the no-good-very-bad day noted above, I simply walked my sad self over to the Whole Foods instead of preparing myself lunch. No trigger, no habit.
Option #2: Practice gratitude anyway, in some teeny tiny way. If you can’t avoid your anchor or trigger, close your eyes and think of something you’d really miss if you didn’t have it. Or something that is making a bad day less bad. Anything. Just point your brain to something you appreciate in life for a micro-second, give yourself a little “yay me!” reward, and go back to moping.
What To Do Today
Task #1: Practice gratitude! Or don’t. But remember: Do not skip it if you can’t also skip the anchoring behavior. 🙂