Say Thank You to Dire Times – Being ‘Grateful’

It is easy to say Thank You during good times. More difficult to do in tough times. And it is possible to find things to be thankful for despite the virus or any other stressful and uncertain situations.

Benefits of Being Grateful

The best time to start a gratitude practice is now as it improves your wellbeing. Multiple research sources document the benefits of being grateful, or living with the perspective of gratitude, across five key areas

    1. Emotional wellbeing – happier, less anxiety and depression, bounce back from stress
    2. Physical health – better sleep, fewer aches and pains, less pain, more exercise
    3. Personality – more optimism, self-esteem, spirituality
    4. Social interactions – more friends, better marriages, deeper relationships
    5. Career enhancements – greater networking, better teamwork, less absenteeism, greater employee and client loyalty

These benefits are great at any time in our lives and even more important during times of stress.

What Am I Grateful for During This Virus Pandemic? The Positives

Let me state the obvious – I am not grateful for the suffering, hurt, grief, fear and loss this virus is creating. I mourn for those globally who have been touched by this, especially those who have lost loved ones and those on all the frontlines.
And knowing light can co-exist alongside dark, what are the silver linings from this situation? Here are some gratitudes I’ve seen, felt and heard:

  •  The planet is regenerating, the turbulence that man imposes on the land, on mother nature is lightened so streams are clearing, pollution is dissipating, stuff is growing again not being damaged by our travel and stripping.
  • Consciousness about waste and need. People are turning to fresh ingredients where they can and are not wasting food, heck even heard of grilled celery being eaten so it doesn’t go to waste. I know I’m spending more time cooking new and nutritious meals. Less consumerism for a variety of reasons.
  • For some, being forced to slow down, to be less busy, less rushing around, less hurried- sickness (something many of my executive clients suffer from normally).
  • People are connecting more virtually, for dinners, drinks, bday parties, catch-ups. People are calling those they might not have called previously, people are thinking of others.
  • People are seeing value in occupations they might not have noticed before, like carers, grocery workers, delivery people, telecom engineers, manufacturing and obviously healthcare providers (although I think these people have been valued previously and
    certainly differently than a shop attendant). These are the things that are essential to daily life. What is essential has been redefined in some ways.
  • Addressing the plight of the poor, homelessness and domestic abuse. It’s forcing society to deal with these people that are so often ignored or at best, dealt with, rather than helped.
  • Health has become our main focus, staying healthy, wanting others to stay healthy, wanting the hospitals and medical professionals to be able to treat every patient with the equipment, care and time they deserve – not being overloaded where their health and compassion is compromised.
  • Generosity – offering to shop for the vulnerable, free exercises classes on-line, volunteering in their communities, reaching out to others, people donating money and rooms for sick or healthcare workers, free food and parking to healthcare workers.
  • Creativity is flourishing – companies making ventilators rather than cars, new hospitals built in a week which would have taken years previously, face-to-face things now being done virtually.
  • Reflection – what matters really matters? In society? To me as an individual? What part of ‘back to normal’ do I/we want to re-embrace when this settles? What parts of ‘staying home’ do I want to adopt into life afterwards? What do liberty and freedom really mean?
  • Greater awareness of those around us, even though we are less physically in contact.
  • Intimacy has shown up in some interactions where it might not have in the past. People are connecting around how they feel, what their fears and hopes are, what makes them laugh, rather than the external factors we might have discussed previously (sports, weather, the commute).

Thank You Reflection

Thank you for reading this. I invite you to reflect and share:
What are you grateful for today? What has been positive about this situation for you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you’re thankful for – as it’s a virtual world now, reach out and let me know.