When life is good and everything seems to be going according to plan, it is easy to feel grateful for everything in life, but when times are tough it is harder to feel the same way. However, as it turns out if you are consciously grateful in times of crisis you can turn things around faster and cope better. You can gain a new perspective on things in your life.
Here are a few ways gratitude can help you navigate through difficult times:
Gratitude Enhances Happiness
If you are experiencing problems in your life, it is hard to feel happy. Negative emotions can be overwhelming. However, gratitude can be a good way to cope and maximize your happiness in several ways. At the very least it will help ease some of your unhappiness.
Having an ‘attitude of gratitude’ helps minimize the unpleasant emotional impact of bad events. You may feel there are no positives to your situation, such as with the death of a loved one. However, if you can look for the positives, such as having had them in your life, and knowing and loving them, then you will become stronger and learn how to cope. Focusing on the positives helps you to feel grateful and happy.
Gratitude Helps You Reframe Negative Events
Paying attention to things you are grateful for during tough times does not mean ignoring your suffering. You cannot deny that life sets off all sorts of negative emotions, such as anger, disappointments, frustrations, and feelings of loss. No amount of positive thinking can change that fact.
Instead of denying your pain, gratitude is part of processing the experience through a different lens. It is about realizing that amid the tragedy, you can find opportunities. It is about reframing the negative events and seeing the potential gain through the language of thankfulness.
Gratitude Helps You Tap Into Your Inner Peace
You might think that finding inner peace requires alone time and quiet spaces. On the contrary, you do not necessarily have to meditate or lock yourself away in your room.
Practicing gratitude allows you to tap into your inner peace even in you are in a crowded room. By appreciating and being thankful for the little things in your life, you will feel calm and happy.
So the next time you are feeling overwhelmed, or waiting in line, riding a train, or walking down a busy street, think about what you are grateful for. Take a deep breath, smile, and imagine your happy place. If you can do that you have just tapped into your inner peace.
Gratitude Allows You to Find Hope When All You Feel is Despair
Sometimes you have to try hard to find the positive things to be grateful for when going through a huge loss, major heartbreak, or chronic illness. These are the times it is difficult to be positive because you can be consumed with sadness, grief, and pain.
However, to get through you need to make a strong and conscious effort to focus on one blessing – one that will give you hope amid all your despair. It does not mean ignoring your emotions. It is about acknowledging them because you are feeling them for a reason.
Dig deep within yourself. What emotion are you feeling? Sadness? Anger? Hurt? Whatever it is, now focus on the opposite emotion. If you feel sad, think happy thoughts. If you feel anger, focus on feeling calm. Remember that sometimes, the worst situations can bring out the best in you.
Gratitude Allows You to Spread Kindness
If you are struggling with hard times, it is easy to be kind to others if you practice gratitude. Gratitude allows you to focus on the blessings you receive and also reflect on how you can show your appreciation to others.
It can start with a simple act of kindness, and seeing how others react in kind to you, can make you forget about your current struggles. You can focus on a brighter future, and experience compassion and care from those who have received your acts of kindness.
When you are going through hard times, it is easier to sulk and let your negative emotions weigh you down. But that is not healthy. If you want to get out of your situation, practice gratitude.
No one said it was easy to count your blessings during tough times. However, you can always find one thing you can be thankful for. Thinking about that one blessing can help you find inner peace and allow you to cope with any pain or suffering more effectively.