How can we find gratitude in times of adversity?

Even in the murky depths of a major life transition; disease, illness, or injury; grief; globally unstable times; or adversity in myriad other forms, we can find small blessings.

Explore and engage the situation with an open heart and kind mind.

Consider doing some of the following as a means of healing your inner landscape even as you journey the difficulties of the outer world…

  • Write about a time you or someone you know overcame something similar to what you’re going through now.
  • Get still and quiet in nature, feeling the vastness of it holding you.
  • Find the smallest “positive” in the crisis.
  • Stay present in this moment (easily done by watching your breath inhalation by exhalation).

I encourage you to repeat any of these suggestions frequently, even on a daily basis. Perhaps try doing them in different ways (modifying as your energy and the intensity of the difficult situation shift). And – because this list only represents a small sampling of the many ways we can seek gratitude in adversity – feel free to add to this list, drawing from your own wise and compassionate heart.

This practice is excerpted from Jennifer Wilhoit’s article, Hearty Gratitude Practices.