Gratitude during hard times is a feeling of appreciation regardless of adversity. It entails looking for positive consequences of negative events. This is usually not an easy feat but it is always worth the effort. In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope. Gratitude can help us cope with hard times and view life in its entirety and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances.

Gratitude maximizes happiness in multiple ways, and one reason is that it helps us reframe memories of unpleasant events in a way that decreases their unpleasant emotional impact. Gratitude is what makes our good days feel even better, but more importantly, it is the tool that gets us through the bad days. Feeling grateful will not instantly return you to joyful bliss, and it won’t make you totally forget the difficult times, however, it is a tool that can help us get through it, even if we’re not sure we can.

The Benefits of Gratitude During Hard Times:

  • It reduces stress and anxiety
  • It helps you overcome depression
  • You become optimistic and enthusiastic
  • It makes you happier.
  • It improves your health and well-being.
  • It strengthens relationships
  • It builds resilience
  • It leads to improved feelings of abundance

Action Steps:

The following actions can help you practice gratitude during hard times:

1. Keep a gratitude journal – write down the names of people or things in your life you are grateful for.

2. Count your blessings – stop worrying about what you lack, and start being happy for what you have.

3. Start small – when nothing is going right, 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.

4. Practice gratitude meditation – turn uncertainty into opportunity and hardships into lessons by finding a quiet space to either journal or reflect on a gratitude-focused meditation.

5. Acknowledge the goodness that already surrounds you – Take a moment to notice and appreciate something or someone around you.

6. Don’t expect perfection – you will feel more grateful when you realize that life isn’t always easy, perfect, or fair.

7. Do one productive thing that you enjoy daily – it can feel overwhelming to think about getting anything done, especially with a lot on your to-do list, instead, just get one thing done that you truly enjoy.

8. Practice forgiveness – remember that forgiveness does not mean being weak; it’s one of the strongest things you could do, so forgive circumstances for not working out and forgive people, no matter what.

9. Be kind and compassionate – when we’re conscious of other people and their struggles, compassion is what helps us become grateful.

10. Spend time with loved ones – spending time with your friends and family will help you appreciate the gift of love you have been blessed with to help you cope during hard times.