Gratitude is defined as the sense of thankfulness for blessings received, whether these are tangible or intangible. We usually express our gratitude verbally or in writing. Sometimes, it is simply felt in the heart. As a matter of fact, expressing gratitude has been linked to enhanced well-being.
Gratitude can also be a way to cope with life’s difficulties because we feel comforted by the appreciation for the things that we have. It does not mean, however, that we should gloss over challenges by thinking that everything is okay even if they are not. It is indeed healthy to feel the entirety of our emotions, no matter how painful it is, so we can process and then overcome it. Gratitude can serve to remind us that even through the toughest of times, we are not completely helpless or alone.
When we are mindful or focused on the present moment, we are calming the chaos in our head whenever we feel overwhelmed. The sense of awareness helps us see our reality objectively. We are able to acknowledge our thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions with the end goal of arriving at a healthy response to our situation.
With gratitude and mindfulness, we get the opportunity to gain a more balanced perspective about experiences that may be painful or difficult. We are able to ground ourselves and become more at peace with our situation. It opens up a way for us to embrace the ups and downs of life.
With life’s unpredictability, it can be easy to get lost in the confusion and negativity that may come with life’s problems. Perhaps, we may even think that it is easier to just give in and let these consume us—even if we know that this is not the way to joy and contentment. The practice of gratefulness and mindfulness will help us power through life—acknowledging both the joys and the sorrows of life, giving thanks for both blessings and opportunities to grow.