342: The Gratitude Secret Weapon

The Gratitude Secret Weapon- Mitch Matthews

342: The Gratitude Secret Weapon

This week we’re talking about GRATITUDE!  Why?  Well… gratitude is our brain’s superfood.  If we can feel gratitude… it helps us to feel happier, less depressed, more creative, and more abundant. Heck… it can even work in our brain’s memory centers to help us remember more! 

ALL the good stuff!  BUT… how do we stir it up?  Especially on those days when it might be a little hard to feel grateful?  On those days circumstances make it a real stretch to feel gratitude?  We know we want to… but how do we get there? 

In this episode, I share some science and a few of my own favorite strategies.  BUT I also share 12 tips from YOU…

Dream Think Doers who answered the call… “How do YOU get to gratitude?” It makes for a very special episode that I think you’re going to love.  Most importantly… we’re going to help YOU to find YOUR “Gratitude Secret Weapon!”  So let’s get to this!

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The “Christmas Carol Method” of getting to Gratitude: https://mitchmatthews.com/304/

The “Rest vs. Restoration” Experiment: https://mitchmatthews.com/330/

DREAM BIG… No Matter What (with Amberly Lago): https://mitchmatthews.com/310/ 

The FIVE Non-Negotiables for an Ideal Day (with Sarah Yourgrau): https://mitchmatthews.com/294/

MORE ABOUT THE The Gratitude Secret Weapon EPISODE:

Gratitude is our brain’s SUPERFOOD.  (The upside is that it doesn’t taste nasty like Kale. LOL!)  There’s PLENTY of science to show that when we intentionally stir up Gratitude… it makes a BIG difference IN our bodies and WITH our perspective on the day and our world!  BUT the question is: HOW do you get there?

With this episode, I’m going to walk you through 14 different strategies to help you fill your Gratitude ToolBox!  The extra-special part of this episode is that 12 of those ideas come from YOU!  That’s right!  I posed the question on Facebook and you guys BROUGHT IT!  (By the way… if we’re not connected on Facebook… make sure to reach out there! Let’s friend it up… friend!)

The “Gratitude Secret Weapon” is a simple two-step process:

 1.) Acknowledge the importance of Gratitude

 2.) Find YOUR way to stir it up!

My GO-TO Gratitude Strategy:  “Gratitude… NOW!”

Listen to the episode to get the full story, but I like to ask the simple question: “What can I be grateful for… RIGHT NOW?”

Melissa’s GO TO Gratitude Strategy:  “Gratitude for YOU!”

Again… listen to the episode to get the full story, but my bride finds that her “Secret Weapon” for stirring up true gratitude is to relay her gratitude to someone else.  She LOVES to tell others how she’s grateful for them.  It’s a true gratitude win/win!

SO… I asked YOU what YOU do to stir up gratitude… to get your brain some of that superfood!  And you BROUGHT it!!!  You submitted ideas… and I’ll admit I added names to make them a bit more memorable!  But here are the ideas… in your own words.  So… here we go!

1.) “Snooze Bar” Gratitude

Denise Griffitts: “What a lovely idea! I used to be one of those people who would hit the floor running and as my mom would say, oh crap she’s awake. But over time I have learned to stay in the bed, breathe, and examine what I am so grateful for. It starts the morning in a perfect kind of way. There’s a lot to be said for quiet moments of reflection.”

2.) The “Tuck the Day Away” Strategy:

Annie Caves: 

“Honestly I think it was realizing it is good and bad in every day- and what you focus on is made bigger. I heard that how you end your day is how you “tuck it away” in your mind- so I ask the questions:

  • What good thing happened today?
  • What am I grateful for tonight?

It helps me to tuck each day away as a good day!

It is truly a practice – and when life SUCKS is when I am more mindful of finding what I’m grateful for.”

NOTE: A LOT of people suggested keeping a Gratitude Journal.  Chuck Thuss brought his to our recent “Next Level Speaker Event” and he showed folks how he’s been doing this for YEARS and it’s made a HUGE impact on his life.

3.) “Dinner Table” Gratitude

Dan Zehner: 

“Every night with our kids, everyone in the family shares at least one thing we’re grateful for. My 3-year-old is constantly grateful for pre-school (too cute). Sometimes it’s a favorite toy, time with mom and dad, or just getting to watch their favorite show. It’s a great time as a family!”

4.) Find It and Turn it UP!

Denny Ransom: 

“My daily(ish) practice: 

  • I pull up mental images of the people and things in my life that I’m most grateful for. 
  • I cycle through those images until I feel a sense of gratitude in my body. 
  • Once I have that feeling, I turn all of my attention to how gratitude feels in my body, which tends to amplify it. 
  • Once I have that feeling ‘turned up as much as I can get, I start repeating a little mantra I have:

            “My life is filled with blessings, I am grateful.” 

  • Through repetition with this process, I’ve pretty much anchored the feeling of gratitude to that phrase. 
  • If I’m struggling, or need quick access to a state of gratitude, now I can just say that phrase a few times and the feeling of gratitude comes alive in me almost instantly. 
  • This practice was a game-changer for learning how to quickly access resourceful states.”

5.) “Happy Memory” Gratitude

Julie Thompson: 

“I learned recently to think back on a happy memory and remember the feelings of gratitude and joy I had. I might think about a family vacation, a special holiday, or a time that I experienced joy while in nature, like standing on a mountain and being captured by the view. I also name things out loud for which I am grateful, and I use Ann Voskamp’s monthly gratitude list of ideas from her website.”

6.) The “Gratitude Together” Strategy:

Cheryl Swisher: 

“I am part of a group and we submit 1 thing daily that we are grateful for the next 30 days.”

Create a group and start doing this!

7.) The “It’s Not ALL Me” Strategy:

Patricia Ortega: 

“I can be a little prideful, so I start with what I’m most proud of (big success at work, owning a home, good marriage…) then I stop and think about how it was NOT all me who made that happen (sometimes it’s not me at all!)… I have been blessed by other people, circumstances, resources, that made these things possible. 

For example my husband’s amazing grace, patience, love, and leadership play a major/primary role in making our marriage great, and it’s what I’m soooo grateful for ❤️.  So my little activity works on both my gratitude and humility. Because God knows we need both. :)”

8.) The “It’s a Wonderful Life” Strategy:

Nicholas Andrew:

“For me, gratitude starts with selflessness. I meditate on what I have and then picture my life specifically without those things. 

I get deep into what it would feel like to not have who and what I have. I then look again at what I have In my life and the fact that I wake up every morning to it. I thank God for waking me up and then just have a moment of silence with myself.

But going deep on the emotions of what life would be like if you lost everything puts what you do have in perspective. I don’t take little things for granted as much. My Attitude is Gratitude!  For me, it starts and ends with Flip’n your mindset to Flip your Reality.”


She’s talking about www.mitchmatthews.com/340  “Dealing with the B.S. of our blessings!”

Speaking of which… I wanted to give MaryAnn Bradley a shout out for sharing the same episode on Facebook!

Then there’s Glenda Masters’ comment on episode 341 with Jon Acuff!

Check that one out at www.mitchmatthews.com/341 

9.) The “Grateful TOGETHER” Strategy:

LeeLee Genovese:
“Gratitude is the single most important practice I have ever taken on. I do it daily, usually in my journal, but also focusing on things I am grateful for, happy about, excited about, proud of, committed to, who I love, etc.. to mix up the focus. 

I also have categories to spread the grateful love around and think about my mind, body, spirit, family, nature, experiences, beliefs, friends, tangibles, and intangibles, ohhh Love it so. 

***BUT, the single most exciting part of my gratitude practice is that at the beginning of last year my husband and I started one together. 

Simple and sweet and my favorite part of the day. It is also a blessed way to end the day as we do it just before we go to bed, pillow talk gratitude if you will. 

I started asking my husband what he was grateful for and he loved it so much we often race to be the first to ask. Just the asking warms my heart. The things we share always fill my heart with happiness and love.

Communication is powerful as we often learn about each other, or are reminded about the wonderful things we both like doing together, dream together, set goals and intentions together. It is surely a powerful practice for any relationship, I highly recommend it. I’m addicted and can’t sleep without it.”

10.) The “Random Acts of Gratitude” Strategy (RAGS):

Heather Medford:

“I practice random acts of kindness. I’m pretty good about doing that often, but especially if I am in a funk, I will go out and intentionally share smiles and kindness! It’s the best way to snap myself back into gratitude!”

11.) The “Write a Letter” Strategy:

Aree Bly: If I really want to go big, I write a letter. 

Full-size paper. 


Envelope with a stamp. 

It’s like writing a journal entry about how an individual has impacted me, and also letting them know it. 

So I get my own gratitude and I get to share it with them. Win-win.

12.) The “Send it Ahead” Strategy:

Sonja Sorenson Arnold:

“In the morning I send my gratitude ahead of me. I think about (sometimes write them down) what is happening today that I will be grateful for.  I think about who I will see and activities I will engage in and let myself feel that gratitude. Then when they happen I can add a second layer of gratitude… even when if they play out differently than expected!  I’m still thankful and move into gratitude!

So there you have it.

12 + the two from Melissa and me.  

14 different ideas for sparking gratitude.

REMEMBER: The key is:

  1. Recognize the power of gratitude in our lives
  2. Find YOUR secret weapon 

a.) That thing that YOU do!

b.) Maybe it’s one of these 14

c.) Or maybe you adapt one of these

d.) Find YOUR way… and that will be YOUR “Secret Weapon”

One last note… In the end… I’ve found that having a number of different tools to get to gratitude is my secret weapon… because I like to mix things up AND I have a short attention span… so I need to keep things fresh!  If you can identify with THAT… I hope these 14 added some new tools to the toolbox!

Okay… well… if you’re in the US… I hope you have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!  And no matter where you are listening from in the world… know that I’m GRATEFUL FOR YOU!  Seriously!!!

Please share this episode with someone who might need it!  And if you haven’t already… please leave a review wherever you listen to the podcast!


Let’s keep the conversation going!  What’s one of YOUR favorite tools for getting to GRATITUDE?  Big or small… comment and let me know!  I can’t wait to hear from YOU!

And until next time… keep bringing your awesome!  Because the world needs it! 


Episode Minute By Minute:

  • 0:02 What to expect today
  • 2:02 Episode starts
  • 2:12 The scientific truth behind gratitude
  • 6:28 What sparked the inspiration for this episode
  • 12:22 Step up to the gratitude buffet
  • 14:23 The snooze bar strategy
  • 17:53 Keep a gratitude journal
  • 18:59 The dinner table strategy
  • 20:01 The Find it and turn it about strategy
  • 26:17 The it’s not all about me strategy
  • 30:31 Shout-out time! 
  • 33:17 The grateful together strategy
  • 34:04 The random acts of gratitude strategy
  • 36:07 The write a letter strategy
  • 38:03 What’s your secret weapon?
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