It’s the season of gratitude and every day there’s so much to be grateful for EVEN when it seems like nothing is going right in your life. Each time you open your eyes is another chance for you to be thankful for what you have. The roof over your head, the food you eat, and the bed you sleep in are just a few examples of the blessings you already have. While it’s easy to have an attitude of gratitude for the good things, what about the more difficult things life can throw your way?
Have you ever thought about being grateful for the challenges in your life?
See challenges as opportunities
When you think about it, life can feel like a roller coaster of ups (happiness) and downs (challenges). The holidays have a way of making the ride feel like there’s more downs than ups. With so much to do and the added stress of engaging with extended family members, it’s hard to not feel overwhelmed by it all.
For every challenge that comes your way, make the choice to respond, rather than react, to the situation. When you respond to a challenge, you’re taking the opportunity to learn from it so you can calmly and peacefully identify a creative solution. Reacting is typically more emotional coming from a place of stress and anxiety that has you grasping at straws for a solution.
Most of my life I reacted to the challenges that happened in my life. When I think back on those times, I can clearly see my emotions in each situation. Not only was I stressed and anxious, I also judged and blamed everyone (especially myself) each time I couldn’t fix it. I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect until I couldn’t bear the weight of it all anymore. Then I learned how to do things differently.
Respond to challenges with these 4 simple steps
When you’re facing an unwelcomed challenge in your life, it can be hard in the moment to make the right decision. So it’s important to take a few minutes to get curious about what’s happening and why. This gives you time to respond from a place of peace so you can confidently move forward. Tackle your challenges head on with these steps…
- Deep breathe your way to peace. Inhale through your nose so your belly expands like a balloon and exhale out your mouth so your belly constricts. Keep breathing deeply until you’re relaxed and able to think clearly.
- Ask yourself questions to gain clarity and perspective. Every challenge is an opportunity to grow and learn so be grateful for it. And then get curious. The more curious you are, the easier it’ll be to find answers especially if you take the time to journal about the situation.
- Don’t let what other’s say or do influence you. Some people in our lives have a way of making us question ourselves and the decisions we make. You’re the only person who lives your life so it’s up to you how you respond to challenges. Solicited or unsolicited advice only helps if you want to use it AND it feels right to you.
- Take action and be willing to get out of your comfort zone. You’ve got everything you need to handle every challenge that comes your way. Have faith in yourself that you can do what needs to be done even if that requires you to get out of your comfort zone.
You can overcome any challenge with a desire to do things differently and a commitment to respond, instead of react, to whatever comes your way!
Your attitude of gratitude can help make hard times easier to handle! What are you grateful for today?
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