Finding gratitude in challenging events can be a difficult task, but it is also an opportunity for personal growth and development. It’s easy to get caught up in feeling frustrated or disappointed when faced with a difficult situation. But by taking a step back and looking at the situation with a positive mindset, it is possible to find something to be grateful for.
One way to find gratitude is by redirecting our focus to the lessons that can be learned from the situation. Despite the challenge, no matter how difficult, lies an opportunity for growth and learning. By recognizing and reflecting on these lessons, we’re more likely to gain a new perspective on the situation. In the process, we’ll find something to be grateful for.
For example, if you happen to be going through a difficult break-up, you’re in luck. You may be able to find gratitude in the lessons you learn about yourself and what you want in a partner. This is in line with the concept of “Post-traumatic growth” which is the positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004).
Another way to find gratitude in challenges is by redirecting your focus. Believe it or not, it is the small things in life that bring you joy. It’s easy to get lost in our own emotions. But a shift in mindset changes everything. It changes our thoughts and our output.
The little things we’re blessed with are all around us. This could be something as simple as enjoying a cup of tea or going for a walk in nature. This is related to the “Savoring” concept, which is the ability to attend to, appreciate, and enhance positive experiences.
Finding Gratitude and Living
One thing is for sure, challenges are a natural part of living. And, the truth is, every one of us has gone through difficult times. The ability we have to recognize that we are not alone in our struggles can make room for gratitude. Too many times do we choose otherwise with negative results.
Whether we acknowledge it or not, many of us do have a support system to lean on. Finding gratitude within the idea that we do have someone that can support us lightens the load. Whether it be friends, family, therapist, or support group, talking it out makes a difference.
The concept of “Social support” is the perception that we have the necessary support through difficult times. Another way to find gratitude in challenges is by allowing ourselves to see the big picture. Sometimes it’s important for us to see the end goal so that the route there feels lighter.
Keeping a long-term perspective can help you find gratitude in the fact that the situation is temporary. Acknowledging that the current event is temporary helps you see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Therefore our being mindful redirects our focus toward the present moment.
Incorporating Gratitude within Our Daily Lives
Of course, finding gratitude isn’t something that comes easy for us all. That is why practicing it daily makes room for the growth we seek. It’s important that we make a conscious effort to focus on the things that allow for gratitude each day.
Take a few minutes each day to simply record what it all looks like. Taking a few minutes a day to reflect on those things can help shift your mindset. With such a shift, the path to positivity becomes a lot easier, even in difficult situations.
When it’s all said and done, finding gratitude in challenges, although tough invites opportunities for personal growth. So let us focus on the lessons that we’ve been able to learn from each event. By keeping our focus on the lesson, the support available allows us to see the overall picture.Backed by research, suggests that by utilizing concepts such as post-traumatic growth, savoring, social support, mindfulness, and gratitude, individuals can learn to find positivity in difficult situations and ultimately experience personal growth. While it may not always be easy, making a conscious effort to find gratitude in challenges can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
Join me for Episode # 152 – Impact of Gratitude on Mental and Physical Health. There is a growing body of research that suggests that practicing gratitude can have a positive impact on mental health. This includes reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. All while allowing life room to live.