Life | Focus on the Family Australia
Gratitude through uncertainty
By Care for the Family
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We are living in an unprecedented time, and for families across the globe, the uncertainty in the air can be a huge cause of stress and confusion. Yet, this current crisis doesn’t mean we lose all of the good in our lives and now, more than ever, could be a good time to proactively be thankful for what we treasure most. This isn’t a suggestion to ignore the gravity of the situation we’re in, but the countless stories we’re hearing daily can get overwhelming and finding space to shift our thinking onto the things we’re grateful for, even just for a little while, can really make a difference.

If you have children, it’s also a great habit to teach them and one that could help them see that even though this is a strange time, they still have good things in their lives. We can be grateful for anything in our lives or anything around us. It could be big things like our health system and emergency services or small everyday things like sunshine and blue skies – when we have them!

So, with that in mind, here are five things you might want to try.

1. Try to be grateful instead of worried

At this time there is undoubtedly so much to be worried about and families all over the world will find themselves in difficult situations. However, try not to let this worry consume you. Every time you feel yourself worrying, where possible, list some things that bring a smile to your face, maybe even out loud, and this will hopefully take your mind off your worries and help you to have a more hopeful mindset. Do this as many times as necessary throughout the day. If you have pre-existing struggles with anxiety however, it’s important to ensure you have sought the appropriate professional advice.

2. Get yourself a gratitude journal

A helpful tool to get the focus off your worries could be recording things in a journal. You can buy one or simply use a spare notebook that you have lying around, and at the end of the day write down three (or as many as you like!) things you are grateful for. Alternatively, use post-it notes and stick them all over the house so every time you clean your teeth or make a cup of tea, you’ll have a handy reminder. Maybe a gratitude jar is more your style. You could get the whole family involved – make a note of things you’re grateful for and keep them safe in the jar. Once this is all over, you can sit down together and read through everyone’s messages – hopefully there will be some fun things to look back on!

3. Let your friends and family know you’re grateful for them

With the help of modern technology (something to be grateful for) we can still be in touch with our loved ones who we aren’t able to see in person at the moment. Take some time to let them know what they mean to you and what you love about them. A simple text, video message or even ‘old-fashioned’ phone call will surely make a huge difference to their day as well as yours, especially if they’re having to self isolate. If you’re at home with family, maybe take some time over lunch to say what you love about each other.

4. Show appreciation to key workers

This may be a little tricky due to social distancing but maybe if you are in a shop, let the shop assistants know that you appreciate all that they’re doing. Likewise, if you know someone who works in the health industry or is an essential worker, tell them how grateful you are that they’re carrying on with their work.

5. Use social media for good

There are hundreds of people posting content that is causing worry or confusion on all social media platforms. Instead, let’s seek to use this tool for good and post things that will encourage others and maybe spread some joy. You could start by posting with the three things you are grateful for that day and encourage your friends to do the same.

We know that this really is a very challenging time for many and we’re not making light of that but we do believe that there is something to be grateful for every day.

© 2020 Care for the Family. Used with permission. Originally published at careforthefamily.org.uk

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