Exercise: Noticing Ingratitude

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Gratitude gives birth to gratitude and ingratitude creates more ingratitude.
— Mokichi Okada

We all have good and bad days. Even good days have glitches and we’re bound to have a negative thought or experience. Here’s an exercise both in mindfulness and gratitude.

1) Observe yourself throughout the day.

2) Pay attention to when you have negative feelings about yourself, someone else or something happening to you.

3) Reflect on the following in the moment:

a. Find something positive you can say about the negative feeling or experience.
b. Think about why you didn’t approach the situation with gratitude. Is there anxiety, fear, an expectation, avoidance or some other feeling behind your dismay?

4) Now do this for every negative feeling and situation you come across during the day.

When we are the observer of our emotions, we can bring attention to our uncomfortable feelings and accept the negative thoughts as they are happening. We don’t have to like the thoughts, we just accept that we have a sensitivity to something.

Only then can we turn the ingratitude into gratitude by digging a little deeper to see where these feelings stem from while creating space for new positive thoughts.

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