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How to Be Grateful During Tough Times

It Can Be Difficult to be Grateful

This is the season for us to all stop and think about what we have to be grateful for. If you’ve had a difficult year, this simple task of gratitude can be a challenge. Losing a job, experiencing a death in the family, or developing a serious health condition can seriously impact your sense of gratitude.

Gratitude Creates Mental and Physical Health

Research shows practicing gratitude keeps you mentally and physically healthy.

How to Be Grateful During Tough Times

Search Your Heart

Lionel Hampton was once quoted as saying, “Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.” As you meditate on what you have to be grateful for this year don’t search your mind, but rather look to your heart for the answer. What or who has filled you with love this year? These things or people deserve your gratitude.

Appreciate the Little Things

Even when the world seems set against you, there is always a small light in your life that you should be appreciative of. There is a popular quote that goes, “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” Even if you can only list one thing to be grateful for, use this inspiration to lighten your soul. 

Thank Your Ancestors

If you’re still having trouble finding something to be grateful for look far into the past and be grateful for past relatives you never even met. There’s a Chinese proverb that states, “When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.” You are here today because of the hard work and sacrifices of ancestors you never met. Taking a moment to research your family tree can fill your heart with gratitude.

Express Your Gratitude to Others

Once you’ve searched your heart and made a list of people to be grateful for be sure to let them know how much you appreciate them. Don’t just assume that they already know. As Gertrude Stein once said, “Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.” Gratitude needs to be expressed otherwise it isn’t gratitude. Send your loved ones a card with a personal note saying thanks. 

Use Gratitude to Build Character

Gratitude is characteristic that people can easily cultivate. The more gratitude you show towards others, the more grateful person you become. As the wise Dalai Lama has said, “The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” In short, use gratitude to become a kinder and optimistic person.

Use Gratitude to Boost Your Courage

When you count your blessings you start to see how fortunate you are in life and it can help you put your current life trials in perspective. As life coach Tony Robbins once said, “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” Make a list of all the things you’re grateful for and let this list boost your confidence and give you the courage to tackle your problems.

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