Nancy: Gratitude is not about ignoring pain or challenges. Gratitude is not Pollyanna. Gratitude is not turning our eyes away. It is about acknowledging and finding the strength to see beyond our pain and challenges. The act of finding gratitude, even in the smallest things, can create a ripple effect in our lives. So I’m going to share some of the steps I’ve taken and I hope that they will resonate with you.
Nancy: Welcome to Your Permission Prescription. I’m Nancy Levin, founder of Levin Life Coach Academy, bestselling author, master life coach, and your host. I train life coaches, aspiring coaches, and anyone who wants to add coaching skills to their current career to elevate their life and their business. I’ve coached thousands of people to live life on their own terms, and now I coach, train, and certify other coaches to do the same.
If you are ready to give yourself permission to finally make yourself a priority and mobilize your vision, you are in the right place. Let’s dive in.
Nancy: Welcome back. So glad you’re here with me. Today we are going to talk about finding gratitude in challenging times. More than ever, we’re collectively experiencing the weight of challenge. Yet it’s precisely in these moments that we can dig deep and uncover gratitude.
You might be thinking, gratitude, now? You must be joking? But I promise you I’m not. Gratitude is not only about being thankful for the good times, it’s also about finding light during the darkest hours. When our world turns upside down, we often go into survival mode. The idea of expressing gratitude right now might seem counterintuitive or even superficial. Yet, in these moments, gratitude has its most profound power and impact.
So I’d like to share a personal story. A time in my life where everything seemed to be falling apart. My marriage was ending. I felt like a failure. I was very invested in hiding my truth and my shame. In that profound darkness, I began to understand the transformative power of gratitude.
Every single day, instead of making a list of what was going wrong, I began to make a list of what was going right. Some days it was as simple as I took a breath today, or I let the sun shine on my face today. Slowly looking for what’s right and expressing gratitude for it began to shift my perspective.
Now I wanna be clear, gratitude is not about ignoring pain or challenges. Gratitude is not Pollyanna. Gratitude is not turning our eyes away. It is about acknowledging and finding the strength to see beyond our pain and challenges. The act of finding gratitude, even in the smallest things, can create a ripple effect in our lives. So I’m going to share some of the steps I’ve taken and I hope that they will resonate with you.
Number one is start small. And this is something I return to. I come back all the time, micro. So we are microdosing here – microdosing gratitude. Start small, if you’re going through tough times personally, if you are feeling the pain of the world, don’t force yourself to feel grateful for big things. Instead, start small. Begin with gratitude for the warmth of my bed, gratitude for the friendly ear who listened, gratitude for a moment of silence and stillness.
The second step is to keep a gratitude journal. Put pen to paper. Each evening, write down three things you’re grateful for. When you document these moments, they become real, tangible reminders of the good that still exists.
Step three is express yourself. First, I would say take a moment to acknowledge yourself and what it is you appreciate about yourself. And verbalize your gratitude to others. Send a text. Pick up the phone. Write an old fashioned handwritten note simply to remind someone of how much you love and appreciate them. This not only strengthens your bond with others, but it will also strengthen the bond you feel within.
The fourth step is shifting your perspective because it’s really easy to focus on what’s wrong. Challenge yourself to see from a different angle. Invite the opportunity in to recognize if there is a lesson or a hidden meaning you can extract.
The fifth step is elevate your mood, because scientifically, gratitude has been shown to release dopamine and serotonin to crucial neurotransmitters responsible for emotions. They make us feel good. So expressing gratitude in turn, has us feel good. We can leverage our gratitude and that will elevate our mood.
And step six is to build resilience. In the face of adversity, gratitude provides a cushion. It’s a reminder that we’ve been through hard times before and we’ve found things to be grateful for.
Gratitude isn’t just a practice, gratitude is a lifestyle. It’s a choice we make daily to see beyond the immediate struggles and find the gems of goodness around us. So I invite you to begin this process, whether it is waking up in the morning and just saying to yourself three things that you’re grateful for upon waking. Whether it is writing in a gratitude journal at night, three things that you’re grateful for that day. Over time, watch how this simple act transforms your perspective, even in the most challenging times.
And I wanna make a note here about feeling guilty for feeling good when others are in pain. Keeping ourselves in a state of pain doesn’t bring others out of their pain. However, expressing our gratitude can support others in locating their own.
Thank you for joining me today. I hope that this has been a helpful and insightful peek into gratitude, and I’ll be with you again soon.
Thanks so much for joining me today on Your Permission Prescription. For even more, I invite you to head on over to nancylevin.com and sign up for my newsletter, The Practice, and follow me on social media.
If you’ve enjoyed this episode and want to support our podcast, please subscribe, leave a rating and a review.
See you next time.