It's not always easy to find the good in life, especially when money is tight, or a family member is sick, or you're facing an illness, or you simply feel like nothing is going right. During these times, it's a challenge not to be consumed by the worry and stress, and let it completely overwhelm all parts of your life.
I have faced times like these and am not embarrassed to admit I've struggled with depression throughout my life. In the worst of it, one of the things that helped me climb back out again is being able to be grateful for the things that do happen to fall into place and being able to see the lessons in each obstacle.
Remind yourself of what IS going right.
If you’re plagued by negative thoughts, find a quiet place, grab a pen and paper and make a list of answers to this question: What do I have to be grateful for in my life?
Start your list with the most obvious things, your health and family. Do you have a car? A home? Clothes on your back? Food on the table? You don’t have to have the fanciest or the most expensive items for you to be grateful. Don’t forget to give thanks for the small things in life, such as finding the car keys in time to get to work or getting a hug or a smile from someone or even getting a restful night sleep before an important day.
Be Grateful IN SPITE of obstacles.
We are all going to experience certain setbacks in life, but it is possible to remain grateful even during difficult times in life. Sometimes, something as simple as perspective can help you gain a better understanding of the situation and what you are gaining in spite of experiencing a loss or challenge.
A good example of this is a challenging job that doesn't seem to appreciate you or your work. While you could get caught up in feeling used and abused and under appreciated, you could also focus on the skills you've gained in this position that will help you get the next, better one or you could focus on the friendships and relationships you've built with coworkers who've become friends. I've learned that there is always some good to find in every situation, even if you have to search really, really hard to find it.
Be Thankful FOR the setbacks in life.
It is a true test to be able to be thankful for the obstacles in life, even if you aren't able to see why you should be thankful for it at the moment. Knowing that every challenge also teaches you something and leaves you better for it in some ways helps keep a positive mindset even amidst the most trying times in life. Without challenges, we'd never learn and grow, and without growth, we don't ever become better humans.
Changing the way I look at and approach difficult times and what they bring me has helped me also get through those difficult times. I know that even in my darkest moments, life can be and is good, and that even the biggest challenges, heartbreaks, and losses give me something and make me better for having to experience them.