Going through a rough time? – Count your blessings

Going through a rough time? – Count your blessings

What is this article all about? Simple and straightforward: it’s about those times when something doesn’t go as planned and instead of pulling yourself together and focusing on the positive aspects of your life, you start dwelling on the negative. I’m not saying that all of you do it, far from it, as I haven’t had the pleasure of personally meeting all of you ;)) And I’m also not saying this goes for the really hard parts of life (like life threatening situations). But, I’ve come to realize that not only me, but also some of my friends, under certain circumstances, forget all the good things going on in our lives, once something doesn’t go as planned.

If you recognize yourself in this brief description, I propose a small exercise to help you focus on what’s positive.

Let’s imagine some things that ‘could go wrong’, but which are not life threatening (I’ve really put an effort to be as creative as possible with these hypothesis):

  • You didn’t get a raise like you were promised
  • Your partner is delaying the moving together proposal
  • You are reaching a mid life crisis and feel you haven’t accomplished all the things you’ve set your mind to
  • You had a fight with your mom or dad
  • Your insurance doesn’t cover for your wisdom tooth extraction
  • You have to pay extra taxes and there goes the dream bag you’ve been fantasizing about for months
  • You haven’t lost the 5 kilos you wanted before the launch of your new business

These examples don’t have to be the ones matching your life at the moment, but as long as you have one, or you have some once in a while, you’re in for this small exercise. So, here’s what I propose:

  1. You acknowledge the ‘problem’ or the ‘problems’
  2. You spend the time you need to fix it, while, at the same time, not forgetting that this is not the end of the world. I find it very important to acknowledge that you cannot just erase and rewind (even if that would be awesome) or turn back the time (that would be even more awesome) and to focus on moving on and the next big thing in your life.
  3. If you feel that it’s the end of the world and this is the only thing you can think of… You sit down, take a deep breath and brainstorm on how such problems can be avoided in the future (if possible);
  4. Then, sit down, take a pen and a piece of paper and start counting the positive aspects of your life, which are far more important than a silly insurance ;))
  5. After you’ve basically, counted your blessings – whichever those are in your case (ex. You are healthy, your parents and loved ones too, Auntie Sally’s kidney transplant went smoothly, you have a good and stable job, a happy relationship with your partner etc.), it’s best you then step away from the whole thing, and think whether not losing enough kilos is that ‘bad’ or the end of the world. What do you think?

I feel that sometimes we get carried away with the parts that may not be running as smoothly in our lives and we forget to step back and look at the big picture. It’s a pity, as we’ve probably got a lot more things to be thankful for than to be worried about. We have maybe just got accustomed with all the good and positive ones and we take them for granted.

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