How to Express Gratitude When Things Get Tough

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A person holding a sign that says ‘grateful’
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How great would life be if there were no obstacles on the road to success? While some might think of this as their ideal, others understand the importance of setbacks in life. Age-old wisdom tells us that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Similarly, whenever life throws a curveball, this might make you stop for a while, but once you restart, you’ll move with twice the focus and speed.

No matter how tough the situation might be, staying positive and grounded is important. Many find it challenging to express gratitude in times like these only because negativity gets the better of them. If you’re sailing in the same boat, here are some things you can try:

1. Write It on Paper

No matter how bad or great your day was, make it a point to journal every night. Take your time to recollect your experiences, thoughts, and emotions throughout the day. You don’t need a fancy diary or a specific journal; a simple piece of paper and pen will do the trick.

Write down a list of things you’re grateful for and the reasons for each right next to them. Although this practice might seem insignificant initially, you’ll notice how refreshing and calming it is once you get the hang of it.

On days when things aren’t going your way, don’t forget to count the smaller things in life. This will help you appreciate every breath you take and every minute you spend on this beautiful planet.

2. Have a Gratitude Conversation

When life gets tough, what do we do? We complain. Get out of that negativity and walk toward a self-healing and healthy way of life; instead of complaining about inconveniences, talk to your family and friends about how grateful you are. Every challenge is a learning opportunity and should be treated with maximum positivity. A sense of gratitude will help prepare you for the future as well.

3. Progress Isn’t Linear

Let’s face it: we tend to expect our lives to move in a forward direction and linear fashion. When things don’t go as planned, acceptance and adaptability become difficult. Life is riddled with never-ending obstacles, detours, and plot twists, but this means you’re turning away from your final destination. Focus on the journey instead of worrying about the outcome. Every roadblock is preparing you for the future; patience is key.

If you want to learn more about change and the importance of gratitude, North America’s keynote speaker Steve Gilliland is the one for you. He offers a range of virtual sessions and in-person motivational presentations that have encouraged thousands of people across the country. Steve Gilliland is also a member of the NSA Speaker Hall of Fame and posts educational and inspiring content on his YouTube channel.

 “Your enthusiasm and commitment to excellence really show in the caliber of your presentation and in the positive comments from your classes.”   – Alethea Leandro-Farr, AgSafe