Gratitude Guilt

Leaves are turning colors, kids are splashing in puddles (or, maybe that’s just here in Seattle), and sunset is creeping into the afternoon. It’s almost November, the month that the gratitude meter spikes.

Ninety percent of thank yous are expressed in November. That’s actually not true, but for the next month, we will be inundated with expressions of gratitude - #21daysofgratitude, the 30-Day Thankfulness Challenge, and even grace at Thanksgiving dinner. It’s even National Gratitude Month. In the Facebook world, it can seem that everyone around us feels grateful.

While November can be a powerful tool in kick-starting habits of gratitude, in real life, gratitude is a feeling. Feelings can have a mind and season of their own. Sometimes we can coax them, but sometimes we can’t.

Real Simple published an article this month How to be grateful (when you really don’t feel like it). Their most helpful tip? Don’t make it a chore. Psychologically, when we feel like we have to do something, our brain tends to resist. Authenticity is much more natural when we choose to do something.

If you find you’re not feeling as grateful this month as you’d like, don’t feel guilty. You don’t need to force gratitude. Maybe it’s just recognizing that there’s something about this big chaotic mess of kids screaming, in-laws complaining, turkeys burning, action-packed days, or even sleepless nights that you’ll miss someday, even if you don’t know what it is.

Let’s take the pressure off this November and remember that gratitude is stylish all year.

Buh-bye gratitude guilt,