Gratitude During Dire Circumstances

When times are good, it is easy to feel grateful. What about when times seem bleak and things are not going your way. What about when you things the odds are stacked against you?

As Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology, shares:

I have often been asked if people can—or even should—feel grateful under such dire circumstances.

My response is that not only will a grateful attitude help—it is essential. In fact, it is precisely under crisis conditions when we have the most to gain by a grateful perspective on life. In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope. In other words, gratitude can help us cope with hard times.

Being grateful is not about focusing on just the good. It is important to face reality and understand what is happening, what is going on. When you ignore your circumstances and pretend they are not happening, you can actually make the situation worse. Instead, look at where you are and something that you can be grateful for.


You can read Mr. Emmons full article over at How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times.


  1. Kit on February 24, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    I agree with the idea of not denying what’s happening and how you feel but reframing it to gain value.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Paul on April 26, 2018 at 10:19 pm

      It is all determined by how you think! Thanks, Kit.

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