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Navigating difficult times through gratitude

Pain, disappointment and sadness. They are unfortunately part of life.
A family member passes away, the renovation of your house is not going as expected, one of your children is having problems at school, the relationship with your mother is not going smoothly, you are experiencing problems with your boss, your health is not as it should be, etc.

There are plenty of examples and you too can probably remember a difficult moment or period in your life. Maybe there are several? Maybe you are going through it right now?

The fact is that we cannot deny those difficult moments. These are the challenges that life presents us, and unfortunately we cannot change them.

What we can change is the way we look at these setbacks.


Think of a setback or a very difficult moment in your life and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can I also see the positive sides of this setback?
  • What does it teach me?
  • Can I look at myself differently because of it? And my environment?
  • Despite the obstacles, can I also see the opportunities that this experience brings me?
  • What would I never have learnt if this had not happened to me?
  • Can I be proud of the way I dealt with it?

These are all questions that do not change the situation, but do teach you to look at difficult moments or periods of your life in a grateful, positive way.

We can already hear you thinking "That’s easier said than done" and we cannot blame you for it. Being grateful is much easier if everything goes well, and requires a lot of effort in difficult times. Yet, it is worth not to give up. Research shows that those who regularly look at setbacks in a rewarding way generally also deal better with pain, sadness, disappointment and stress.

Moreover, it’s in those tough moments when things are going wrong that you can really feel the power of gratitude in all its grandeur. The reason being that the things that you may have taken for granted before, are suddenly no longer there. As a result, there’s a good chance that during those difficult moments you will see and feel even better what you may be grateful for in life. Gratitude can therefore not only help you to come out of a difficult period in a stronger way, but can also arise right in the middle of that difficult period and allow you to go through life stronger and more thankfully.

For anyone navigating tough times, we hope you can find a light despite what you're going through and wish you all the best. 

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