Finding Gratitude During Tough Times

2020 has been a rough year for us all. Everyone, no matter where they live, what they do, or how old they are, has felt the uncertainty and stress caused by the global pandemic. Now that it’s November, you may find yourself counting down the days until New Year and wishing for this awful year to finally be over so that better things can come. While it’s perfectly understandable to be feeling impatient for this year to end, focusing on the negatives will only make it drag on and on.

Remember that there is light at the end of every tunnel, and eventually, this time will pass. Until then, keeping a positive mindset can help make the present time a little easier. November is all about giving thanks to what we have, which makes it the perfect month to work on finding gratitude.

What does finding gratitude mean?

Gratitude is the practice of appreciation. When we go through difficult times, it can be easy to get lost in whirlwinds of stress and other negative emotions and forget about all the good things in the world. The problem with this is that it tends to make the bad times feel as if they’re never going to end. Finding gratitude during tough times means shifting your negative mindset into a more positive one by remembering and being thankful for the things that you do have, instead of dwelling on what you don’t have.

Why is it important to find gratitude?

During times of high stress, it’s especially important to make a habit of finding gratitude where you can. For starters, practicing finding gratitude is good for your mental and physical health. To name a few of its health benefits, practicing gratitude can help lower your blood pressure and improve your immune system, while also reducing your risk of mental health problems and helping you manage your stress levels.

Practicing gratitude can also help you change your perspective and find the silver lining during times when it feels like everything in life is just out of your control. The one thing you can control is your mindset. As you wait for these times to pass, a positive mindset will be much better for your well-being. This doesn’t mean you have to try and ignore everything that’s going on or pretend that everything is fine. What it means is despite the challenges you’re facing, reminding yourself of all that you have to be thankful for and focusing your energy on those things. Having positive thoughts will help you focus on what’s important, and keep you from getting overwhelmed by the stress of the situation.

If you continue practicing gratitude on a regular basis, you may even notice that it strengthens your relationships with the people around you. This is because gratitude helps you grow your appreciation, compassion and empathy for others, things that they are likely to notice and reciprocate. Gratitude isn’t just good for you and your own well-being, it can be good for other people and your relationships with them.

How do I start practicing gratitude?

You should try to make it a habit to find gratitude on a daily basis. You can do this by starting a gratitude journal. Each day, take some time to think about what you are grateful for and why, and write these things down. It’s okay to start with small, simple gratitudes at first and dig deeper once you are ready.

Here are a few examples of what you might write in your gratitude journal:


– I am grateful for my family, because I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

– I am grateful for my online classes, because I’m able to continue working towards my degree.

– I am grateful for coffee, because it helps me wake up and be productive.

– I am grateful for my body, because it allows me to move through life.

– I am grateful for my friends, because they always make me laugh.


The more you practice, the more gratitude will come naturally. When you find yourself in a stressful situation, give yourself a moment to think about what really matters. What can you control, and what is out of your hands? If something is out of your control, avoid beating yourself up over it. Try to focus your energy on the positive things, and look for something that you can express gratitude for. Practice finding gratitude every day, and you will find that even during tough times, there are always things to be appreciated.

Ariella is a senior at San Diego State University studying advertising. She is passionate about creating content and especially enjoys writing about travel and lifestyle topics.

by Ariella Hayden

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