How To Find Gratitude During Difficult Times

Gratitude. Probably not the first word that comes to mind when you’re going through something rough in life. It was not the word that crossed my mind anytime I went through something difficult.

So why am I writing about finding gratitude in the midst of a crisis? Well, if there’s one thing we know about life, it’s that problems never go away. You barely have time to solve one issue and another one emerges. During a period of crisis, it can be pretty easy to get overwhelmed. To complain, to see life as a bleak and these situations as unbearable.

Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, news of an illness, financial struggles of relationship problems, we begin to live and breathe the problem. It’s all we can think about, all we can focus on.

Where does gratitude come in? And why on earth should you be thinking about being grateful in a difficult situation? Well, it may be exactly what you need to cope with what you’re going through.

Gratitude is proven to have many benefits on our mental and physical health. Dr Robert A Emmons, who is an expert in the science of gratitude writes that: “Gratitude blocks toxic emotions, such as envy, resentment, regret and depression which can destroy our happiness.” In an article published by the Greater Good Magazine.

Studies show that gratitude increases our vitality, improves our self-esteem, decreases anxiety and even helps us sleep better! That’s right, no more sleepless nights spent worrying about your problems.

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” - Zig Ziglar

So you’re probably wondering, what are the ways in which you can cultivate more gratitude into your life, and now more so than ever?

Keep a Gratitude Journal

If you’re into self-development, I’m sure you will have heard this advice already. Gratitude journaling. Which self-help guru hasn’t mentioned it? I remember hearing about gratitude journaling from Oprah Winfrey. I was skeptical at first, I mean, could writing a few words on a page really make me happier and reduce my stress levels?

I didn’t know, so I tried and it worked wonders!

Gratitude journaling is simple: carve out five minutes of your time each day, in the mornings for example, and write down three things you’re grateful for. It can be anything from a nice meal you had lately or an amazing friend in your life. If you want to write more than three things, by all means, go ahead.

I know from experience that it can be tedious to keep a daily journal, but you have to push through and not give up. Even if you miss a day or two, pick up where you left off and start again, you owe it to yourself to persist.

Contemplate the Wonderful People in Your Life

Who’s the loyal friend who sticks by your side when you need them, or the family member who encourages you never to give up? Think about them. That’s a nice feeling, right?

If you’re going through something difficult and you’ve had a friend or family there for you, try and cultivate some gratitude for their presence in your life. You can even go a step further and send them a message or give them a phone call to express your gratitude for their support.

Think About the Little Things

Focusing on the little things in our lives is a great way of shifting our attention from our problems, to the blessings we’re surrounded with. Whether it’s a warm mug in your hand filled with your favorite tea, or the sight of the beautiful trees outside. Maybe the sound of a loved one’s laughter. Chocolate. It can be anything that brings a smile on your face, contemplate these blessings and make room for some gratitude.

Thank Yourself

This may sound odd but bear with me. Despite all the struggles you’ve been through, you’re still fighting to go on. Every day you’re weighed down by difficulties but you persist on staying strong and working hard to solve your problems, thank yourself for not giving up!

Cultivate some gratitude for the qualities you have that enable you to push forward and continually find new coping strategies. You deserve these thanks, more so than anybody.

Final Thoughts

These are five pieces of advice that, if followed, will help you cultivate some gratitude and shift your perspective on life.

09 March 2021
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