Grateful November Series: Finding Gratitude When You Feel Down
By Vanessa Palencia
It seems hard to do, doesn't it?
It's easier to find things to be grateful for or be joyful about when you're happy and in a good mood, but I've found that finding gratitude when your life seems to be spiraling out of control is when it means the most.
But like most things, it's so easy to keep tumbling down than to climb back up. It's easier to surrender yourself to negativity in this world than to keep fighting for positivity. But you and I both know that that isn't good for your health or for your loved ones around you.
So how can you brush off the dirt and find the gratitude in your life when you're feeling down?
Well, sit back and let me tell you.
If you're crying…
Let it all out. Cry as much as you can because it's a way of releasing all those pent up emotions. But it's important that you focus on at least one thing that you are grateful for. Focus on that either throughout your cry sesh or at the end. It can be something as simple as knowing your family loves and supports you or knowing that you get to feel the sun on your skin today.
If you're frustrated…
Stop thinking about everything for a few minutes and just focus on breathing. It may be hard to do, but step away from whatever it is you're doing and take a moment for yourself. Whether that's working out, playing some music, or getting lost in a daydream. When you let frustration take control, it becomes much easier to react instead of respond to the situation at hand and bury yourself even deeper. Once the storm passes, you'll see your life in a more positive light and enter into a state of gratitude.
If you're feeling stuck…
Remember that, for the most part, things don't happen overnight. You’re more inclined to see the apparent lack of progress in the big picture rather than the small, gradual changes that are taking place. So when you're feeling stuck, remember that you must keep persisting, keep going, and keep showing up. Remember everything you've done and everything you've been through that got you to where you are today and remember that you have the power to make it all change again. Be grateful for that power. Be grateful for the ability to choose your life.
If you're feeling depressed…
Go outside. Do whatever you need to do to go outside. Find at least 2-3 things in nature that you're happy about. Maybe the bright blue sky or the leaves changing color have you feeling warm and fuzzy. And for every negative thought that passes, hit back with a positive. Know that you are not alone and know that you have so much potential just waiting to be unlocked.
If you feel like giving up…
Don't. Take a break to re-energize yourself, but don’t give up. You've come a long way to just stop. Write down your goals and dreams down on paper and be as specific as possible. Then write down why attaining all these things mean so much to you. Remember your ‘why’ and keep that in the back of your mind. Life wasn't made to be a smooth ride, but everything is possible to get through. Find the gratitude in that.