Thankful: Fake it till you feel it (not to be confused with ‘fake it till you make it’)

So, maybe you wake up every morning in your default mood. And it’s not gratitude.

You’re only human, and this is honestly how most of us wake up.

We don’t wake up with a bubbling fountain of gratitude inside us.

As I’ve said before, gratitude isn’t our natural state. Our brain is a pessimist because a pessimist survives to pessimise (let’s call that a word) another day.

Maybe if you’re on holiday, or if you know something really exciting is gonna happen, you might spring out of your bed like a bouncy ball.

But most of us just take it one step at a time and hope it gets better as we go along.

Brushing your teeth helps a bit. Splashing some water on your face, taming the feral beast that’s trying to pass itself off as your hair helps, too.

That first cup of coffee sure brings up the happy meter by quite a bit.

And before you know it, you’re feeling pretty okay and ready for the day.

Then you can roll up your sleeves and start pretending like you’re grateful even when you’re not feeling it. Because, and here’s the kicker, your behaviour often changes how you think and feel.

So, it’s no use to first wait until you feel grateful and then act with gratitude.

That’ll come around once in a blue moon.

Rather, you want to take grateful action, and soon you’ll notice that your mood is changing.

So, say thank you even when you don’t feel like it.

When you look out of your window in the morning and see pouring down rain instead of the sunshine you were hoping for, say thank you.

You should use gratitude (or the lack of it) as a spark for action.

Now, I know some people worry that “too much” gratitude makes you complacent.

Like everything’s gonna be so great and wonderful all the time that you’re going to turn into a selfish bastard who’s completely devoid of empathy.

Well, turns out, the opposite is true.

Research has shown that the more grateful you are, the more likely you are to help others.

When you’re in a state of negative emotion, you’re more focused on your own needs. But gratitude makes you want to pay it forward.

Because it makes you more aware of the contribution others are having to your life. It makes you more aware of how connected you are to others.

It can even show you how good you have it compared to others.

And you can force quit your negativity bias by practising gratitude even – and especially – when you don’t feel like it.

If you get out of your own head you can see that there’s always something to be grateful for.

You’re surrounded by things big and small that you can be grateful for.

So, go out there and start spreading that gratitude around like it’s confetti and you’re the Confetti Fairy.

Keep it up and before you know it you’ll be droppin’ gratitude bombs like killer dance moves at the drop of a hat.

And if you’re finding it hard to pump it up like a zebra doing the running man like a bawse, maybe take five to dance around to your favourite tunes?

Whatcha waiting for? Go, go, go!


  • What is a recent purchase that has added value to your life?
  • List 3 ways you show gratitude to your friends.
  • Think of a time when pure luck or grace saved you.