Finding Gratitude During Tough Times

Gratitude is already a difficult practice at the best of times. So how do you tap into those feelings of gratitude when you’re not feeling grateful for the bad experiences happening around you? Or maybe you’ve been feeling depressed for a whlie and you’re not sure how you can feel gratitude at all. There are some easy exercises you can introduce into your life that will help bring feelings of gratitude even when things around you seem grim.

Why would I want to experience gratitude?

  • Resilience
    • Resilience is a meta-skill that can help you get through the darkest days. Notice how difficult times are easier to navigate through when your thoughts are coming from a positive slant. Any negative emotions that could lead to unproductive actions or reactions can be challenged and re-framed into productive motivation. Gratitude isn’t about completely removing sadness and negativity, but it is used to help process those difficult feelings.
  • Good mental health
    • Remaining in depression and a negative mindset will hinder your path to better mental health. When your mental health hasn’t been tip top, it’s so important to address it just like you would any injury that is affecting your daily life. You may not see how poor mental health is affecting you day-to-day but it does affect the way you perceive every personal experience and your interactions with the people around you.
  • Life is easier
  • Everything around you is exactly what you need and want at this point in time. When you have gratitude in your life you will be completely grateful for your current possessions. You’ll notice that the importance you’ve placed on material objects is diminished and you are better for it. You’re no longer stressing about having more, being more, doing more.

How to begin your gratitude journey

Gratefully accepting the situation around us is the basic idea of the practice of gratitude. Life is already difficult, that is something we must accept. But we don’t need to accept the negativity and mental rut that can come from difficult life experiences.

  • Focus on the good
  • Your perception of the world will frame how you respond to your present situation. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but you need to identify the blessings in disguise. Maybe the unexpected loss of your job has led to you investing more time into your passions and a more rewarding type of work.
  • Time and patience helps
  • Be kind to yourself and grant yourself patience without judgement. Any negative jugemental thoughts about yourself will only hinder your path towards feeling gratitude.
  • Find joy in small things
  • Taking the time to focus on the little things in your life that make you smile will serve as a reminder of the positivity surrounding you. This practice also helps you feel less concerned with the things you don’t have and distracts your thoughts from negative emotions.
  • Thought swapping
  • Stay in control of your feelings and actions by reframing any of your unproductive and negative thoghts into the postive. This pratice is also known as CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. You are acknowledging the difficult internal thoughts and making the choice to move away from them and towards reconnection with the world around you.

Wishing you all the best as you introduce gratitude into your life. Leave some comments below sharing your experience with gratitude.

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