When Thankfulness Doesn’t Help you Feel Better
I’m a big believer in thankfulness. It’s important and beneficial to count your blessings: a thankful attitude can help you develop emotional resilience and enjoy a more positive outlook on life.
But what about those times when you’re trying your best to have a thankful heart, yet you still feel awful? What do you do then?
From my experience, I can tell you what happens next: you feel guilty! You start to question yourself. Why am I still feeling awful? I have so much to be thankful for! Confusion enters stage right, frustration enters stage left, and you feel like the unsuspecting fool in a farce. (Picture pie in your face — or a plank or a rake!)
If your attempts at reaching up in thankfulness sometimes end in a baffling nose-dive, I have three things to tell you up front: (1) you are not going crazy, (2) you are not defective, and (3) you are not alone.
Let me tell you about a time when I tried really hard to be thankful yet still felt grim. It happened when we were away on holidays earlier this year — but I’ll fill you in on the background first. I hope my story will encourage you. It might even help you understand what’s going on in your own mind when a grateful heart isn’t the cure-all you were hoping it would be.
* Below I’ve divided the story into sections for you. If you’d prefer to read it all at once, in one longer post, you can do that here — it’s about a 10-minute read (just scroll past the intro!).