How Life’s Problems Can Become An Opportunity For Growth and Gratefulness

how to be grateful

By Lora Ghawaly

Sometimes we worry too much. Sometimes we do this so much that we worry about how much we’re worrying. Our sources of stress can be many and varied: school, debt, relationships, health, happiness, purpose, career, life goals…on and on. But there’s one thing that can help make these issues less of a burden: gratefulness.

Before we get to that, there’s something to do first. You must acknowledge that your worries are, in most cases, perfectly reasonable and legitimate. Student loans are scary. Depression is incredibly difficult for the affected person to deal with. Trying to pick your future career at 18 is kind of terrifying.

It’s not wrong to worry about these sorts of things. It’s just that you need to keep this worry to healthy levels. Handled properly, worry can be a great motivator. Ignored, worry can be a paralytic. There are two steps you can take to choose the first option and avoid the second.

Step one is to accept the current situation. It plain old is what it is, without amendments or stipulations or suppositions. Stop futurizing and just focus on understanding the way things are in the present. Once you’re able to do this, step two is to find gratefulness. In nearly every situation you will face in life, there will be one sweet drop mixed with the bitter in your cup. It’s now your mission to learn to savor and appreciate that little bit of sweetness. At first, it may feel ineffectual, but give it time. Keep going. Search for something good in everything bad, worrisome, or difficult. And in time, you’ll notice that the problems in your life have turned into opportunities for growth and joy.

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It’s like going to the gym. Until you start regularly engaging your body in repetitive action, you won’t see the results. You have to engage your mind in a repetitive quest for gratitude before you experience your shift in perspective. And just like you have to choose to go to the gym and do work, you’ll have to be the one to actively seek out the good in your life. But it’s worth it! It helps counter anxiety and gives you a more positive outlook.

You can’t fly like Superwoman, but gratefulness is one superpower you can definitely acquire. I say “superpower” because with it, you alter your own reality. You remember the stresses and issues you focused on accepting before? Now you have the tools to try to change them. Pressures become challenges, problems become an exciting thing to tackle creatively, and your whole outlook on life becomes brighter. When you embrace the small joys and quiet happinesses of life, you’ll absolutely grow as a person, (maybe not The 50-Foot Woman kind of growth, but…you know) in both mental and emotional ways.

You can’t fly like Superwoman, but gratefulness is one superpower you can definitely acquire. I say “superpower” because with it, you alter your own reality. You remember the stresses and issues you focused on accepting before? Now you have the tools to try to change them. Pressures become challenges, problems become an exciting thing to tackle creatively, and your whole outlook on life becomes brighter. When you embrace the small joys and quiet happinesses of life, you’ll absolutely grow as a person, (maybe not The 50-Foot Woman kind of growth, but…you know) in both mental and emotional ways.

Mavenly + Co

About Mavenly + Co

We aim to support young women who consider themselves self-starters with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and dream-fueled enthusiasm. Through career profiles, blog entries and videos, we assist women in creating a lifestyle by their own design. We encourage them to strive for their own definitions of success and create a road map for building a life they love. It is our hope this will serve as a resource to encourage women to take ideas they had as young girls and develop them as women. For more, check them out at http://mavenly.co/.
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