Gratitude is good for us, but how the heck do we foster an “attitude of gratitude” when life is super tough? When it’s hard to get through each day, the last thing we want to do is count our blessings. Feeling grateful seems nearly impossible.
Gratitude is even more important when life is hard. This is when we need it the most.
Feeling grateful is not about erasing the hardship from our life. It’s important that we recognize and validate that things are indeed difficult. Gratitude is also not about being thankful for the ick we’ve been through. There’s no reason to have gratitude for our hardship, for the times we’ve been hurt—it was painful and that’s that.
Fortunately, we can still have a gratitude mindset and simultaneously validate the tough stuff. It’s all about focusing on gratitude for ourselves and on the little gifts life hands us.
Truly feeling grateful involves validating the tough stuff while focusing on the good
Gratitude was elusive for a long time in my life, but I finally learned how to grasp it during the last year of living in an abusive situation. I was exhausted, traumatized, and stuck in the dead of winter (which is my least favorite time of year!) and honestly—I was miserable. Feeling grateful was the last thing on my mind.
But, then the sun fell on the couch I was resting on.
It suddenly warmed me, brightened the room, and ignited a little light within my heart. I was grateful for the sun. And it was a real, moving, form of gratitude. The kind that brought tears to my eyes.
From then on, I started to notice the little things I enjoyed. I began to believe I deserved these good things, I started feeling grateful for my choice to keep going, and now I’m able to look back on my past with love.
Balancing gratitude and hardship is not a hard thing to do. You just have to hear how. This episode of Arien Inspires is, as always, inclusive of trauma and mental illness—meaning that this conversation on gratitude doesn’t blow off the tough stuff. It validates it and shows you how to shift your mindset, simultaneously.
Related episode: 2 Things to Help You Keep Going When Life Gets Tough
Feeling grateful is a self-loving action. It’s all about truly acknowledging our reality and making the choice to balance how we see our life. True gratitude never forces us to love the bad stuff. It simply shows us how to notice the good.
What are three things, large or small, that you are feeling grateful for right now?
I encourage you to take a moment and ponder these, then be bold and write them in the comments. When you share this, you’re starting to rewire your brain to notice the good stuff. And gosh will it make a difference in your life.
Also, I would be incredibly elated if you could share this blog on your favorite social media network or directly with a loved one. Inclusive conversations about feeling grateful are so so important. We need to all know how we can find gratitude without invalidating our hardships.
It’s been a pleasure to join you on your life’s journey today. My hope is that this blog impacted you in only the most positive ways. If you’d like even more transformation, come join me for a free coaching call too!