Have you ever had a bad day, bad week, or even a bad year? I have, and they are stressful and can be just plain hard. What if I told you that you can still have joy through your trials? While it might seem impossible to maintain a positive attitude, I believe that you can find joy in all circumstances. How, you ask? Let me explain.
We all have trials in our lives from time to time, but of course they can all look very different and not one person’s is more important than the other. They can be financial trials like losing a job, a chronic disease, an illness, or maybe the breakdown of a car. Trials can also be relationship issues with your spouse, children, friends, or maybe you are dealing with the death of a loved one.
No matter what trial you are going through, we often only see or focus on the negative side. Trials can discourage us and even make us want to give up. Yes, trials are painful and a struggle, but what would happen if you decided to change your perspective? If you have recently lost a loved one, what if in your grieving process you choose to think of all the wonderful memories you had together and how those shaped your life? I think that changing the way you look at tough situations will lead to more positivity and joy in your life.
“Why be negative when you can be positive” is something that my family instilled in me as a child. When I am going through a trial and having negative thoughts, something I do is to identify those negative thoughts and choose a positive one instead. This takes practice, and I am by no means perfect at this, but I have noticed this can make a huge difference in my attitude – no matter what type of trial I am facing.
Another thing I do during trying times is to take time for myself and do something I love. I like to take my dog for walks, play games with my husband, and listen to music. It’s easy in times of trouble to forget about the things you love. When you do the things you love, you radiate positivity and you will feel better.
Lastly, take some time to make a list or share with a close friend some things you are grateful for. Even in the toughest times of life, I think most of us realize we have things in our lives we are grateful for. I was challenged by my boss in college to start a grateful journal. Our whole staff kept these grateful journals for a period of time, and each wrote down a few things per day we were grateful for. My boss also had us then share a couple things with the group during staff meetings each week. I realized through this activity how easy it is to take things for granted. Actively acknowledging what we were grateful for helped myself and other members of our staff to have more grateful minds and hearts. You can’t practice gratitude enough!
I will leave you with this last thought:
“Trials in life are not meant to make us fail, but to see how far we can fly.” – Anonymous
I believe that in trials valuable lessons can be learned. I am not suggesting you discount your emotions during trials, because those are necessary and normal to have. However, I am suggesting you change your perspective, release negative thoughts, do something you love, and have a grateful heart.