How to Practise Gratitude Even When You Don’t Have Hope

how to practise gratitude

This year hasn’t been easy for anyone, Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on our normal day to day lives and doesn’t seem to be stopping.

Can you believe that it is only 30 days till Christmas! Yes, it actually is! This year which seemed like it would never end is gradually coming to an end and God aren’t we all hoping for a much, much better 2021?

But I do know that this year has been harder for some, be it the loss of family, friends, jobs, or even loss of hope. A sense that things just aren’t going to get better, and this festive season is a reminder of the loss or the loneliness, but believe it, we all still have reasons to show gratitude.

For our American brothers and sisters, it is Thanksgiving this week, a time that calls us to see people we love, hug things out, a time to celebrate the blessings of the past year, and a period for people to show gratitude. At first, it may seem that there is nothing to be grateful for this year or perhaps you think there is much less to feel blessed about this year. I think we all have felt this way this year so don’t be hard on yourself. And if you do I want to tell you this, you can still show gratitude even in these trying times.  

5 Ways to Practise Gratitude This Thanksgiving Even When You Don’t Have Hope

1. The little things count too

Often when we think about gratitude we think it’s got to be something huge. “God I am grateful for our new home” or “I am grateful for getting a promotion and our new baby!”

The little things matter just as much as the big things. When we take time to show gratitude for the small things not only do we realise how many more blessings we have in our lives but it sends out the message to the universe to give you more to show gratitude for.

So perhaps today you managed to get up early and work out, show gratitude for that. Or you chose to focus on positive thoughts, have gratitude for that.

It sometimes helps to keep a gratitude journal so on days when it is tough to remember what you have to be grateful for, you can simply reach for your journal and read it out loud.

2. Sometimes it starts as a verb 

Sometimes to be able to show gratitude we need to be in motion, we need to be doing, and whilst doing we realise how grateful we are. 

The other day I went for a walk with my mum and at first, it was just to keep her company and catch up. But whilst out on our walk, I realised how grateful I was to have this moment just the two of us, to have this time to connect and share our goals and dreams for the next few years.

So start doing what you enjoy, start being more productive, start writing that book you put off or make that call to that friend you keep meaning to. I promise once you start you will feel grateful that you are able to do this.

3. Watch uplifting videos

My go-to for inspiration on lifting my mood, putting my mind at ease or anything I need more guidance for is YouTube videos.

You will find motivational videos, talks, and recommended groups, and books to read from here. Speakers like Les Brown or Pastor TD Jakes will give you that motivation no matter what you are feeling! After watching their videos I am reminded that I have too much to do in terms of my purpose and I am instantly grateful for the time to do it.

4. Eat Nourishing Foods

What you feed your body will affect your mind. The worst thing to do when you may be feeling down or hopeless is to get junk food. Often when we’re having thoughts of hopelessness we indulge in bad habits such as overeating, or under eating, smoking, or excess alcohol. These habits will make you feel worse, not better.

Instead, take time to prepare hearty meals you enjoy. Right now, I am loving cauliflower and potato mash. I make it with a bit of black pepper and garlic and serve it up with a side of grilled salmon, delicious! 

5. Affirmations

My favourite of all the tips to finding gratitude is affirmations. I cannot rave about the power of affirmations enough, and I would recommend you read Positive Affirmations: The Healing Power & Why I Recommend Them.

By doing daily positive affirmations to show gratitude, your mind starts to believe this. The universe then sees that you are committed and grateful about the things you have and then sends you more to be grateful for.

You don’t have to make your affirmations long, it can be a couple of affirmations or even one. Just start don’t worry about making them perfect they are only for you.

But in case you would prefer ready-made ones, I created a Thanksgiving Affirmations Freebie for you.


Affirmations to Help You Practise Gratitude

  1. I am grateful for each moment I have with loved ones
  2. I am thankful that I am loved by God 
  3. I am grateful that I have this opportunity to continue my life purpose
  4. I feel grateful that I am loved
  5. I am thankful for my friendships
  6. I am grateful for each day I rise
  7. I am thankful for the moments of joy 
  8. I give thanks to those who helped during my moments of pain
  9. I feel gratitude for my ability to make others laugh 
  10. I am thankful for the music that moves my soul
  11. I feel gratitude that I am able to give to others
  12. I am thankful for my faith in God
  13. I give thanks that I have food and shelter
  14. I am grateful for my quiet moments with God
  15. I am assured that my blessings are plentiful
  16. I am grateful for the abundance of love and kindness I have to give
  17. I am thankful that I continue to have hope that there is much better to come
  18. I feel grateful to find stillness and appreciate the moment
  19. I am thankful for each step I take to live my greatest expression of myself
  20. I give gratitude to God for he created each and every one of us in his own image

I really hope this gave you some easy practical ways to regain your hope and faith that although this year has been difficult we still have much to show gratitude for. I would love to hear from you how you celebrated Thanksgiving this week if you do or simply what you are grateful for.

In case you need extra support

If you have thoughts of harming yourself or feel unable to cope

Call the emergency number in your country 

Good Samaritan (116 123) 

Reach out to your Family Doctor

Reach out to family or friend

If you are feeling anxious

Read my post on how to manage anxiety

You may want to download my guide on self-care management guide for anxiety.

Struggling with loneliness

Contact Good Samaritan (116 123) 

Family priest or pastor

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Hi! I'm Dr Jessica

I share my expertise as a Family Physician to provide you with the support and tools to a holistic lifestyle.

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