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  • Writer's pictureBen R

Gratitude in a Time of Uncertainty

"You've done such a great job with your advocacy work. You are keeping busy with your life."

" I'm so bored at moments. When is this pandemic ending?"

" Why is my stomach upset so frequently as of late?"

" I'm secretly jealous of _____. They post something, calling for assistance and everyone "jumps" to get on board. Why can't I get that same type of response?"

"Ok, I'm posting this quote today. It resonates with me and I'm sure it will be of help to someone."

If you haven't figured out, these are my own thoughts that have become more pervasive in recent weeks.

The headache's start to intensify (making it more difficult to concentrate).

Hazel, who's slowly recovering from a broken leg, is whining constantly, because she's uncomfortable.

"Well, fuck! I'm uncomfortable too!"

Tired, questioning everything, everyone, and bordering on burn-out and feelings of defeat.

That's where I'm at today.

Is it my depression and anxiety?

Is it pandemic fatigue?

Is it other people?

I think it's safe to say that it's a combination of all of the above.

And then I put down the phone/laptop...

I begin to zone in, or maybe a more accurate response is, zone out into space.

Trying to quiet my racing mind down.

After a few minutes, generally, I'm a bit more relaxed.

"Dude, get your shit together. You're better than this!," I tell myself.

Ok, ok, ok.

It's not all about you Ben!

Yes, damnit, you're correct.

The inner voice (intuition) kicks in.

Alright, what can I do right now?

You've done this many times before. You don't need to try and reinvent a wheel.

What are you grateful for?

* Your partner

* Your dogs (despite Hazel driving you nuts at moments)

*Your parents

*Your health

* Your outside supporters

* The roof over your head

So on and so on...

It's so easy, especially right now, to completely lose yourself to all of the chaos that seemingly is never-ending. Chaos doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care if you have a diagnosed mental illness or not.

Everyone is affected.

This should go without saying, but especially in difficult times of uncertainty, we need to have an Attitude of Gratitude.

The Attitude of Gratitude

It can be really difficult to think of things you are grateful for when everything in your life seems to be going wrong. Countless studies show that for many people, finding a bit of thankfulness each day can actually increase happiness levels and decrease depression. By developing an Attitude of Gratitude, we can feel more fulfilled and joyful each day.

An Attitude of Gratitude is a regular habit to express appreciation for all different parts of life, no matter how small.

"If you concentrate on what you have, you'll always have more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you'll never have enough."

-Lewis Howes So how do we develop an Attitude of Gratitude?

  1. Count Your Blessings: Make a list of all the ways you are blessed. Don't just think about the blessings in your head, actually write and count them. Start with the big things and work towards smaller things. 

  2. A-B-C List: If you are struggling to think of things you are thankful for use the alphabet as a guide. Go down each letter and come up with a blessing for each one. A- animals B- bed C- chocolate …… Y- your youth (your whole life is ahead of you!) Z- zoo

  3. Three Things: Think of three things you are grateful for each day. You might choose something that is a constant in your life, something specific to that day, or something as simple as the sun shining that day.

  4. Gratitude Journal: Start a journal to keep track of all the things you are grateful for.  During tough times, go back and read through your previous entries and focus on the blessings you indeed have. You can even use our free journal page to get started.

  5. Be Grateful for Yourself: Take the time to recognize all the unique things that make you you! Think of the things you have accomplished (big or small), your talents, and people who you may have helped because you stayed true to yourself. Once you can appreciate yourself, your ability to see things more positively will grow.

When we train ourselves to look at life through the lens of gratitude rather than disappointment, we find ourselves happier and more at peace. There is so much to be grateful for if we just learn to look for it.  "When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in."

-Kristin Armstrong

Source: The Attitude of Gratitude

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