finding gratitude in hard times

Need Help Finding Gratitude in Hard Times?

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Stressful, challenging times can make it more difficult for you to find gratitude in your heart.  But finding gratitude in hard times is important.

Hard times can make you turn to anger or resentment.

However, you can still show gratitude despite challenging issues in your life.

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Tips for Finding Gratitude in Hard Times 

  1. Search for the positive.

    You may be going through a stressful or difficult period in your life, but it shouldn’t stop you from seeing positive things and finding gratitude in hard times.

    • What are the positive areas in your life that aren’t being affected by your current challenges? Do you still have your home and health? Do you still have a job that provides for your family?
    • By focusing on the positive aspects of your life, you’ll find areas in which you can still feel thankful.
  2. Treasure the small details.finding gratitude in hard times

    It’s easy to lose sight of the small details if you’re overwhelmed by a difficult situation at home or at work. However, if you learn to treasure the details, you’ll welcome gratitude back into your life.

    • Are you happy with a new paint color at home? Are you proud of a small project at work? Did you finish a long book? These small details can make a big difference in your gratitude levels.
    • You can show your appreciation for the little things by making a list of everything that needs your love.
  3. Search for joy.

    It’s important to add joy to your daily schedule. Watch a comedy, read a comic book, or share jokes with friends. Add laughter to your routine.

    • Laughter can help you notice the areas that need gratitude in your life.
    • Joy can help you feel appreciation toward your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors.
  4. Put your pain in perspective.

    Make it a point to avoid getting lost in the negative emotions of your challenges by looking at others. That’s a really practical way of finding gratitude in hard times.

    • If you can put your pain in perspective, you’ll discover that there are others who have even more challenges than you. If you’re worried about your house, job, or health, think about those who have even less.
    • Perspective can help you understand that everyone faces difficult challenges. You’re not alone, and you can still feel grateful for other things in your life.
  5. Understand the power of change.

    Change is a regular part of existence, but when you’re struggling, you might feel as if your life will never change. That makes finding gratitude in hard times much more difficult than it needs to be.

    • Remind yourself that changes occur all the time, and change can lead to gratitude.
    • You can show your gratitude by recognizing that changes occur and can lead to better things. If you feel trapped and stagnant, keep in mind that a transformation is possible. It may take time, friends, a supportive network, effort, and perseverance, but you’ll get past your difficult situation.

Your ability to find gratitude doesn’t have to be limited during challenges. 

Search for the positive areas in your life, even as you struggle in other areas.

Remember that you’re not alone and that everything changes.

Soon, you’ll find yourself feeling the gratitude that you seem to have lost.

Finding gratitude in hard times does require effort, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Try these simple ways to practice gratitude, starting today!

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  1. This is a great article. So many times our Gratitude gets squished by stress and we lose sight.

    Good job!

    1. Darlene Berkel says:

      Thanks for the comment Anne. Stress robs us of so many things, including our perspective. So during hard times it seems there is nothing ( or VERY little) to be thankful for. That’s why we have a “Thankful Thursdays” thread that I run every week in our Women Beating Chronic Stress Facebook group. It’s amazing who easy it can miss to miss the simple pleasures in life that we need to be thankful for, especially during hard time. Even when we lose sight during a moment of deep emotional anguish, its important that we regain perspective as soon as possible. I hope my tips above can help do just that.

  2. A positive attitude and being grateful for what you do have can absolutely change your life. There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Your posts are always so information-packed.

    1. Darlene Berkel says:

      Rena, the saying your attitude determines your altitude is so true. A positive attitude coupled with gratitude is what distinguishes “victims” from “victors”. It’s HARD to find things to be thankful for when times are hard, but like you said, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for, and during hard times its the simple things we often take for granted that are the most valuable! Thanks for your kind words and for always being a positive member of my tribe! 🙂

  3. I think adding joy is so important! Schedules and stress can overwhelm and we think we don’t have TIME for the things that bring us joy – and that is when it is even more important to make time for ourselves!

    1. Darlene Berkel says:

      So true Jenn. When we think we don’t have time for self-care, that’s when we need it most! And it does not need to be an hour. 15 to 20 minutes is all it takes to recharge, refresh and rejuvenate. ( But if you can block one hour that’s even BETTER!) 🙂

  4. This is 100% true. It is hard to find joy in life when things are bad, but we need to look around and be grateful that we are still alive, breathing, and have a roof over our heads.

    1. Darlene Berkel says:

      That’s the key Marcia. Even in the mist dire of circumstances, there is something to be grateful for. Some folks lost all their worldly possessions in hurricanes last year, but their lives were spared. Life can get so stressful and overwhelming at times, but’s despite what life may throw at us, we need to look around to find simple things to be grateful for. There are there!

  5. Thanks for the reminder. These days, we all have to try harder to find things to be grateful for.

    1. Darlene Berkel says:

      That’s right Risa. And we won’t have to try too hard…there are so many simple things in life that we take for granted that we could be thankful for. For instance, just tap into your senses: What do you love to eat? What do you love to watch? What do you love to smell? What do you love to hear? What do you love to touch? Here are my answers:
      1. I love to eat oats with raisins and pumpkin seeds for breakfast.
      2. I LOVE to watch Golden Girls reruns to relax and unwind.
      3. I love the smell of Lavendar essential oil on my pillow and sheets. ( I love to smell peppermint oil too!!)
      4. I love to hear the sound of rain falling. Working on getting an indoor water fountain so that I can have the sound of water falling on demand. 🙂
      5. I love o touch the sand on the beach when I go bech combing or shell collecting. It’s extremely soothing yet exciting for the hands to play and touch constantly without even thinking about it.

      I am thankful for all those things!!

      Now it’s your turn. What do you like to eat, watch, smell, hear, and touch that you are thankful for? See how simple it can be to find things to be thankful for? Simple things we all so easily take for granted.

  6. Great tips. I’ve been better at finding perspective lately. Just discussing how to be more appreciative this morning.

    1. Darlene Berkel says:

      Good for you, Janice. It does get better/easier with time as your make it a habit to look for/find things to be thankful for. It’s a matter of mindset and perspective. The more we practice finding perspective and gratitude, the easier it gets to consistently see the lass as half full, instead of half empty.

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