Feel like shit? Start with gratitude


Some days it feels like you’re pushing shit uphill, just to get things moving.

It feels like the investment required to proactively steer your effort, attention, feelings and behaviour just isn’t worth the effort.

So maybe it’s a day for just going with the flow (or not going anywhere at all).

Let the day stay on auto pilot.

Maybe you’re tired, or demotivated or worn down or all three.

It doesn’t really matter what the cause is when you feel like this. What matters is what you do about.

Typically, the best kind of kick-start would be some vigorous exercise. This is because the physical nature of the work brings more of you body’s systems online in a manful way. The exercise will activate hormone production which will literally make you think differently.

Unfortunately, for me at least, if my outlook and energy levels are already low or tapped out, I’m probably not going to summon the motivation to go for a run.

So where do you start? What do you do?

You start with gratitude.

We’re always looking for more happiness, but we don’t really take the time to squeeze the happiness out of what we already have. Initiating feelings of gratitude is one of the fastest ways to bring some positivity online in a useful way without having to lace up the trainers – but it’s often the last thing we think to do.

Oddly enough, we’re often so unused to activating gratitude (just a sign of how entitled we can be) that it can feel a little strange to spent time thinking about how grateful we are for what we have.

It doesn’t have to be anything big or touchy feeling. It can start by being grateful for the anticipation of coffee. For the fact that the milk isn’t out of date. For the concept of noise cancelling headphones.

Whatever you use – don’t expect gratitude to do all the heavy lifting, it’s just meant to get you started – to get you to turn off the autopilot and start flying on manual.

You might still end up pushing shit up-hill, but you’ll feel better about it – and that’s half the battle.