A few months ago, we talked about what to do if your world feels apocalyptic. But what if things are just difficult, not apocalyptic? How do you keep your spirits up and spot opportunities when times are hard?
I’ve owned my own business for almost a decade now, and many of those years were hard — very hard. So I have a lot of opinions on how to be positive and grateful through difficulty. Here’s how I do it.
Celebrate Your Wins
Now matter how bad things are going, there is something that is going alright. Do you have your health today? Did you get a good night’s sleep? Did you enjoy some nice food? (If you’re feeling super-negative, then change your brain chemistry by making something to celebrate. This could be as simple as clipping some wildflowers and putting them in a mason jar to admire.) Take a moment and celebrate those wins — you could journal about them, you could bake a cake to celebrate, or you could just take some time to acknowledge that you had a win, however tiny.
Was there someone who helped you with that win? Tell them “thank you.” Shower them with appreciation. Believe me, you’ll feel so much better.
Be Grateful for What You Didn’t Get
This is dangerous advice, but sometimes, you have to live on the edge. I believe that we live in a benevolent universe and that even when a lot of bad things are happening to us, a lot of bad things didn’t happen. I’d like for you to take a moment to acknowledge those things with gratitude. For example, if you are reading this, you probably weren’t in a horrific car accident yesterday. You likely didn’t get punched in the face in line for tea and coffee drinks at your local cafe. (Ok, if those things happened to you, I apologize.) It may seem silly to think about horrible things NOT happening, but let me guess — you have worries about crazy things that could happen to you, like losing your job and becoming homeless, right? If you do, then this isn’t so crazy.
Write Down What You Learned
If you had a rough patch lately, no doubt you learned something from it. Take a moment, right now, and write down the lessons you’ve learned from life lately. Simply, you might have learned about something you don’t like, something that you aren’t very good at, or maybe you’ve just learned the lesson that you sometimes need to ask for help! Lessons learned are very powerful if we can see them, accept them, and integrate them going forward (otherwise you’ll just be repeating bad behavior…).
Play the Long Game
If you consider that life is a bit like a game, consider playing the long game. Know that while you might have a bad day or experience difficulties here or there, if you choose to focus your thoughts and energy on the moments that you want to create, and the experiences you want to have, and heed the suggestions above, then you’ll come out just fine.
I’ll leave you with a journaling prompt / thoughtful question related to what we’ve just discussed today:
What would my future self (20+ years from now) say about this?