I have always been the one who sees the good in bad situations. Every job interview that didn’t go well and every relationship that ended opened up space for bigger and better things. However, sometimes it just feels so wrong and even impossible to look for a silver lining. I recently started gratitude journaling and some days I sit and ask myself, “What am I grateful for today?” One of those days was yesterday. But the truth is, gratitude is a coping strategy.
It is what makes my good days feel even better, and gets me through my bad days.
Gratitude is a tool that can help us get through even that which we are not sure we can.
With all that is going on, here is how you can try to find the good in bad situations:
Stop worrying about what you lack, and start being happy for what you have
The lesson here is the classic glass-half-full mentality. We’re all given a glass with a certain amount of water, and it’s up to us to decide whether it’s full or empty. We have the power to not only see the glass one way or another, but the power to change the reality of the water we do have. When a glass is half full, you feel like you have more.
Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.Matthew 6:34
When you’re in one of those times when nothingseems to be going right, find any little thing that is going right and cling to it: a sunny afternoon, a friend to call, the ability to breathe, a delicious meal. If you think about it, these “little things” are actually not “little” at all. Many things feel so normal that they’re often overlooked, but these “little” things often become the most important and meaningful parts of our lives. Make note of whatever you can find to be grateful for, no matter how small, and start seeking out more small things to feel grateful for every day.
Do one productive thing today that you enjoy
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to think about getting anythingdone, much less checking off all the things on your to-do list or working a full workday. If you can, scratch your to-do list, and instead, just get one thing that you enjoy, done. Cook a nourishing lunch, go outside (but remember to wear a mask), or reorganize your space. Accomplishing something small will make you feel a little more strong and capable than you did before, and you’ll have something new to be grateful for.
Try gratitude journaling
Journaling might be the most effective tool to get out of your current mindset and into a new one. You might come out of writing believing that something greater is waiting for you on the other side, or you might just feel grateful for your determination to push through. Turn uncertainty into opportunity and hardships into lessons by finding a quiet space and journal.
Don’t expect perfection
The happiest and most grateful people know that life isn’t always easy, perfect, or fair. The question is not if life is fair, but if we can move on in spite of the fact that it isn’t. Many of us fall into the pattern of “Once I move, then I’ll be happy,” “Once I make more money, then I’ll be happy,” or even “Once I can get out of the house again, then I’ll be happy.” But happiness dependent on any circumstance is just false; being happy is a skill, not an outcome. The hardest times can teach us how to truly achieve happiness, so don’t waste the opportunity.
I always talk about so many of my canceled 2020 plans. And the truth is, we do not have control over circumstances.
So forgive circumstances for not working out (like a canceled wedding or vacation), and forgive other people, no matter what. Remember that forgiveness does not mean being weak; it’s one of the strongest things you could do. Any negative word thought, or comment hurts you much more than the person you’re expressing negativity about. Remind yourself frequently that the point of life is, in fact, to have compassion for one another.
What are you grateful for today?
See You Next Week!