Gratitude through your storm: 5 ways to cope

by Betty Lochner on February 8, 2011

Man is affected not by his circumstances, but rather the view he takes of them.

~ Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Gratitude in our daily lives is a powerful communication skill. I’ve written a lot about appreciation and gratitude and how simple, yet incredibly important it is.  But, how about showing gratitude when things aren’t going so well, when your life feels like you are in the middle of a storm, or when nothing seems right with your world?

Not so simple, but just as important.

Give gratitude in all circumstances

When we give gratitude regardless of our circumstances, we can lower our stress to better cope, change our perspective and focus on the long term outcome.

Here are 5 ways to embrace gratitude when you are in a life storm.

1. Find what is right with the situation.

Even in difficult circumstances, you’ll see the good if you just look for it. Look for the learning, look for what is going right with the situation – the people that are there support you, for example,  and embrace it.

2. Give thanks every day for the small things.

Be thankful for the simple things in your life:  your family, your freedom, your hope.  This habit of gratitude will help you put things in perspective and look at your storm through a difference lens.

3. Pause and reflect.

Step back and reflect on your situation and be thoughtful, rather than jump to conclusions or react prematurely.

4. Future shift your thinking.

Move your thinking to the future.  Think of the future outcome and the good that will come out of the situation. Concentrate on what is in your  control – your future – and let go of what you can’t control.

5. Be the best for your world.

Pay it forward. Do something nice for someone daily.  Help the person in front of you in line,  treat someone to coffee, hold the door, say a kind word.  Pay attention to the small things and share your gratitude with others. This will keep you focused on how you can be the best for the world.

Rather than surrender to your storm, embrace it with gratitude.

Real life isn’t always going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgment of what is working in our lives can help us not only to survive but surmount our difficulties. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

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Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home. And, it’s now available on Kindle! Check it out.

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