How to Feel Grateful During a Pandemic

25
Jul

With the first half of 2020 already spent and very little light shining through at the end of the proverbial pandemic tunnel, it’s safe to say that COVID-19 has turned all of our lives upside down in some measure. The pervasive sort of panic that accompanies a global pandemic leaves us all feeling vulnerable—no one can escape the danger and uncertainty. How can you possibly manage to stay positive, let alone happy, when you feel that you’re losing your entire way of life?

It’s not easy to maintain a sunny disposition right now, but if you can keep your wits about you and muster the strength to feel grateful in these darkest of moments, then you’ll find it makes a world of difference in improving your overall outlook.

Practice Feeling Grateful—Even During a Pandemic

The hard reality is that the good things in our lives will sometimes pale in comparison to the troubles we’re experiencing, but that doesn’t mean that we should excuse ourselves from giving thanks for the good that does exist. In fact, zeroing in on the positive aspects of your life will help you feel less engrossed by the negative ones.

Think of it this way: if you listen to your favorite song while working out, does it magically make your heart rate go down and improve your breathing? Probably not, but by focusing on something you love, the exercise (which may not be your favorite activity) suddenly feels less oppressive. Approaching your life with a sense of gratefulness has a similar effect—feeling thankful for everything that’s right does not eliminate the things that are wrong, it just makes it easier for you to stay happy and cope with whatever may come your way.

Take note that being grateful for the good things in your life is not the same as blindly pretending that everything is fine with a willful “ignorance is bliss” mentality. On the contrary, what we’re talking about here is overt self-awareness; it’s a willingness to accept the difficult situations that you face while also taking the time to recognize the positive facets of your life.

One of the single most effective ways to stay resilient in the face of a crisis is to have a balanced perspective. You can’t simply allow yourself to dive headlong into a rabbit hole of despair or you may never re-emerge; maintain hope and faith that things will improve by staying grateful.

For example, if you have lost your job, you may be worried about how to pay your bills, or whether you’ll be able to find new employment. These concerns can morph into massive sources of anxiety, but if they consume you, you’ll find before long that you’re paralyzed with melancholy and apathy.

When those emotions have taken hold, it’s next to impossible to spend your time seeking gainful employment or calmly developing strategies to improve your current situation.

In these situations, gratitude can work wonders. You can calm yourself with thoughts like, “At least I’m fortunate enough to have close friends who are helping me figure out what I can try next.” When you cloak yourself in grateful thoughts like these, you’ll feel instantly at ease.

This approach is, of course, much tougher if you have lost a loved one or become ill yourself. Sickness and death hang over our heads like thunderclouds, making it feel impossible to enjoy the sun. The truth is that even in the darkest of moments, each of us can find small blessings to count—the dependability of our friends, the unwavering love of our families, or simply the companionship of our pets. Taking the time to offer gratitude for these comforts will make even grief and misery more manageable.

Whatever else you may be experiencing, the pandemic has likely been particularly hard if you are single. Even introverts are struggling with feelings of isolation by now, and extroverts have been pining for their old social lives since five minutes after going into quarantine. After so many months on your own, video meetups and phone calls may not quite scratch that social itch, and if you already wanted a partner before COVID-19 struck, you are probably feeling particularly lonesome now. When social distancing has been repeatedly lauded as the new normal, you may be having a hard time imagining how you’ll ever be able to meet someone—but don’t give up hope just yet!

Believe it or not, even those who are taking social distancing very seriously haven’t disembarked the dating train. If you’re serious about meeting someone in these turbulent times, you simply have to use a creative approach: video chats. Let’s be honest, it’s not the same as meeting your date in person, but it’s a great way to safely meet someone from the comfort of your home—not to mention, it could be a perfect opportunity for you to practice some gratitude. After all, the situation may not be ideal, but who among us wouldn’t be grateful to have the chance to meet a new potential partner?

Take this chance to move forward in your love life and grab some tips from my free guide, How to Make a Good First Impression Video Chat Dating

What do you feel grateful for, even in the midst of a pandemic? Leave us a message below and share your gratitude with us.

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