How to Stay Positive During the Rough Patches

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Gratitude and positivity. You hear about them all the time. See, it’s easy to be thankful when things are going great. You feel happy and you see the good all around you. Most people can be thankful when the day is going how they want it to or they’re experiencing something amazing. Yet, it’s likely a different story when the day is full of disappointments, letdowns, frustrations and heartache. Not so easy to be appreciative then, is it?

Ever been sick, incredibly angry, injured, depressed or anxious? These aren’t typically fun experiences or states.

Ever been in the hospital, in an accident, deployed or in some kind of tragedy? These situations and places aren’t generally “happy” ones to be in.

There are times in life when it feels like there just isn’t much to feel good about.

It’s like being at a funeral — it’s terrible, right? We all know that. But then there are these beautiful moments hugging your brother or your friend and you’re so thankful for them at that moment. They are making the horrible not as horrible as it could be. You may appreciate the healthy food that you get to eat that day, the memories that you’re able to smile about, the flowers that brighten up the room or the gifts that relationship brought to your life. No, appreciation for small things won’t suddenly make you feel like you’re celebrating at a wedding. It won’t make the pain go away. Seeing the good doesn’t dismiss the bad…It just helps us stay aware.

You can find something to appreciate even in the dimmest situations.

How to Stay Positive

1.Take a Look at What’s Around You

The clothes that you’re able to wear, the breath that you’re able to take, the simple fact that you can experience emotions, the colors all around you, the hopeful message you heard, the warmth that you feel, the protection you have, the choices you can make or the parts of yourself or your loved ones that are still functioning and healthy.

2. Recognize That It’s Not Black and White

It doesn’t have to be all bad or all good. It can be both. In fact, it’s always both. There are horrible things happening right now and there are amazing things happening right now. At the same time. Both. It’s never all good or all bad. It’s about developing the ability to keep your eyes open. You can train yourself to feel pain and acknowledge blessings, giving them both space.

At first, you may not even be able to think of something positive or good and that’s okay. There is a time to feel deeply upset and hurt and mourn. Take your time experiencing whatever it is that’s tough for you and reach out to your loved ones for support. As soon as you can, take some breaths and count your blessings or think through the simple things that are positive.

Bottom line? You can feel deep pain, anger or discomfort and also see beauty, love, hope, guidance, strength, inspiration and simple joys.

3. Find Gratitude

You will still suffer, ache, hurt and feel frustrated and upset. Those aren’t feelings you want to rush or push away. Work on accepting the pain, allowing yourself to feel it deeply and also be aware that there is always something to be thankful for. That’s what we’re going for. The more you practice it, the easier you’ll find it.

Gratitude changes everything. If you can be thankful for what you do have, you immediately feel better about what you don’t have or what’s not going right. You can improve your perspective, mood, attitude and motivation in seconds. There is true power in expressing gratitude and steering your thoughts to things you can deeply appreciate any time you can.