You’ve seen this suggested on Serenity Amidst Frustration several times. You might’ve even wondered at some point, “How can she suggest this at such a time?”
And by this, I mean be grateful when things are difficult.
Have you found this suggestion odd?
Gratitude or Ingratitude
When experiencing a life transition, such as unemployment, you face many challenges every day. One of the biggest challenges comes in the form of financial strain. There’s always some kind of stress related to money.
And, you question how you can concentrate on abundance when there’s so much lack.
You find it hard to practice gratitude. You think you can’t but guess what?
It starts with shifting your focus from all the negatives going on in your life right now to the positives.
Daily, you can make a choice to focus on the things you have going on for you – regardless of where you are in life.
Now, I won’t deny the difficulty of expressing thanks when going through loss and experiencing financial strains and demands.
In fact, it almost seems impossible on the surface.
As such, I won’t discredit the pain and emotions you’re feeling. I’m in a place of difficulty myself and understand the realness of hardship.
I know how easy it is to focus on the negatives when in a transitional phase.
The hardship and wants.
The tough decisions.
The economy and job market.
The obligations and inability to meet them.
We get caught up in these things and think there’s nothing to be grateful for. We become ungrateful to God – though we may not always know it.
Sadly enough, I’ve been there and had to make a change.
Though I’ve been experiencing a lengthy season of unemployment bringing with it every reason to be ungrateful, I’ve chosen to stand strong and press through with gratitude for the good things daily. Certainly negativity still creeps up sometimes, but I’ve learned to shift my focus quickly.
What’s been the result? An entirely new outlook on life and my challenges. I gained an appreciation for everything – even the little things (mercies).
Likewise, you also have many good things in your life, so why not focus on them? You can make it a habit of seeking them daily as I’ve done.
Founder of Live Your Legend, Scott Dinsmore, in his How to Feel Rich (Even When You Think You’re Poor) article advises you to “notice the wonders” daily.
Though his suggestion is geared toward those fostering a rich mindset, it applies to those of us experiencing challenging circumstances, such as unemployment, too.
“Gratitude is a powerful emotion (and a valuable daily practice). Spend a few minutes right now to look around and list the wonders. The information, technology, tools, the air conditioner on a hot day, the apple grown across the world (or down the street) that’s yours for fifty cents. And most importantly, notice the nearly unlimited access you have to all of it.
That access to these luxuries, systems, tools, services and things is priceless.”
Why not be grateful instead of taking these things for granted?
“The list of our everyday wonders is endless.
However you’re reading this right now – via computer, tablet, smart phone, or some other amazing technology – that ability is one of the most luxurious and impossible-to-believe of all. It’s also one of the most important tools for doing just about anything you want.” – Scott Dinsmore, Live Your Legend
You can check out the link below to read more of his article.
Scott Dinsmore, How to Feel Rich (Even When You Think You’re Poor) │Live Your Legend
Side Tracking Moment: I came across Scott Dinsmore’s article and while reading it, I thought about gratitude. So, the inspiration for this article came from his – linked above.
Why Choose Gratitude?
Back on Track: When you shift your focus from the negatives to the positives and give thanks, your overall well-being benefits. Dr. Robert Emmons, Psychology Professor at the University of California, Davis found several benefits of gratitude listed in his article titled Why Gratitude is Good. Two of which are:
“Gratitude blocks toxic, negative emotions, such as envy, resentment, regret—emotions that can destroy our happiness. There’s even recent evidence, including a 2008 study by psychologist Alex Wood in the Journal of Research in Personality, showing that gratitude can reduce the frequency and duration of episodes of depression.”
“Grateful people are more stress resistant. There’s a number of studies showing that in the face of serious trauma, adversity, and suffering, if people have a grateful disposition, they’ll recover more quickly. I believe gratitude gives people a perspective from which they can interpret negative life events and help them guard against post-traumatic stress and lasting anxiety.”
Ways to Practice Gratitude Today
So, as you continue your journey throughout this day, I encourage you to choose gratitude. Some suggestions for doing this include:
- Gratitude for your ability to see, read, and understand this article.
- Think about your ability to move around when and how you want to because of your good health and strength.
Now, if you have the ability to move as you choose this means you have life. Life is a gift. Why not give thanks for both good gifts?
- Give thanks for the shelter you have.
- Consider the technology you have in your possession right now as referenced above and give thanks for them.
- Before eating today, give thanks not only for your food but the family you’re eating with as well.
This is just a starter list for you. More can be added to these suggestions.
What would you add?
From Me to You: Practicing gratitude isn’t the easiest thing to do – especially when going through a difficult transition bringing discouragement, letdown, and frustration, to name a few. I’ll admit it.
It’s hard and takes lots of practice. Persistence too.
But, gratitude is beneficial as you move through this period. I suggest you view your challenges in light of the goodness surrounding you.
Count your blessings! You’ll need time to grow in this practice, but you can do it!
Disclaimer: This article contains outgoing links to the work of Scott Dinsmore on his Live Your Legend website and Dr. Robert Emmons on the Greater Good website.
P. S. How will you practice gratitude today? What are you grateful for this moment? Please share below!