Being Thankful in Difficult Times

Life is full of ups and downs, and while some seasons may bring joy and happiness, others may bring challenges and hardships. However, it is during these difficult times that being thankful becomes even more crucial. Expressing gratitude can help us to shift our perspective, find solace, and keep hope alive.

When I was a child, we didn’t have an easy life and we were going through hardships day by day because both of my parents lost their jobs. We were living off their savings and they couldn’t get a job because of a scandal that was blamed on them, they were jobless for 5 years. We were always on a tight budget and I always hated that my friends had things that I couldn’t have. One day I complained to my mother and she said to me: “Our life isn’t much now, but it will be better. You should be thankful that you can still eat full meals”

I didn’t know if she really believed that at that time but I just could see that she was forcing her tears back because of what I said. Since then, I’ve started appreciating what I had and tried stopping to envy people. It wasn’t easy at first, seeing your friends have their fancy Gameboy machines and I couldn’t even have a keypad phone to play Snake on.

Bit by bit, it grew on me. It essentially made me a more open-minded and cheerful person. The good news though, we eventually got out of that situation and is now ‘in progress’ to a better life. The mindset just grew on me, what you have in your mind reflects on everything that you do. It gave me so much positivity and motivation to be thankful every day and appreciate even the scarring hardships that came by.

So, with that long story, I want to explore with you some practical ways to cultivate a sense of gratitude, see the beauty in difficult times, and find reasons to be thankful despite the challenges we face.

1.) Practice Mindfulness:

Take a moment each day to breathe deeply, observe the sensations around you, and appreciate the simple things in life. This will help you develop a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation during difficult times.

2.) Focus on Personal Growth

Difficult times often present an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Embrace these challenges as an invitation to become stronger, more resilient, and adaptable. When you focus on personal development, you shift your mindset from feeling victimized to becoming empowered.

3.) Reflect on the Lessons Learned

Reflect on the experiences and setbacks you’ve encountered, and consider what you have learned from them. Did you gain a deeper understanding of yourself? Have you discovered new skills or strengths? Reflecting on the lessons learned allows you to appreciate the growth and transformation that can arise from challenging situations.

4.) Give Back

By showing compassion and making a positive impact in the lives of others, we realize how fortunate we are and become thankful for the opportunity to make a difference.

Being thankful in difficult times does not come naturally, but with practice, it can become a way of life. By embracing gratitude and shifting our focus, we can find beauty in the midst of challenges. By staying connected to our support system, focusing on personal growth, and reflecting on the lessons learned, we cultivate a resilient spirit. Let us remember to be grateful for the strength that we gain, the lessons that transform us, and the opportunities for growth that every difficulty brings. Choose gratitude today, and watch how it transforms your outlook on life.


  1. Julie JordanScott on July 7, 2023 at 7:51 am

    This is such an important lesson: tough on children and yes, critical to gain resilience through gratitude. The step-by-step practical suggestions are wonderful, also.

    How do you think this period of your life impacted other aspects of your adulthood, other than this visceral knowledge of the importance of gratitude practice?

    • Paul on July 10, 2023 at 8:51 am

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment and for bringing up a thought-provoking question. The period of my life that shaped my understanding of gratitude and resilience has influenced several aspects of my adulthood. It has helped me cultivate empathy and a deeper appreciation for the struggles and triumphs of others. This, in turn, has guided me in my relationships, both personal and professional, enabling me to be more understanding and supportive. Moreover, it has fueled my drive to create spaces and initiatives where individuals can find support, encouragement, and resources to develop their own gratitude practices. Overall, this experience has shaped my perspective on life and instilled a desire to make a positive impact on others.

  2. Roy A Ackerman, PhD EA on July 7, 2023 at 9:02 am

    It is more difficult to express gratitude when one feels items are missing in their lives. But that is exactly the best time to do so, so we appreciate more of what we have.

    • Paul on July 10, 2023 at 8:51 am

      Absolutely, you’ve captured the essence of gratitude beautifully! It can indeed be challenging to express gratitude when we feel like there are certain things missing in our lives. However, it is during those times that practicing gratitude becomes even more important. By focusing on appreciating what we do have, we can cultivate a mindset of abundance and shift our perspective to recognize the blessings and positives in our lives. Thank you for sharing this valuable insight, and I hope it inspires others to embrace gratitude even in challenging circumstances.

  3. Dr.Amrita Basu on July 7, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you Paul for sharing your story.Growing up I had a difficult time too for similar reasons ,but that’s why I felt grateful for having the opportunity study and do what I do .Gratitude is a super power.

  4. Dr.Amrita Basu on July 7, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you Paul for sharing your story.Growing up I had a difficult time too for similar reasons ,but that’s why I felt grateful for having the opportunity study and do what I do .Gratitude is a super power.

    • Paul on July 10, 2023 at 8:50 am

      Thank you for opening up and sharing your personal experience, and I’m sorry to hear that you went through a difficult time growing up. It is wonderful to see how you have embraced gratitude as a superpower, finding appreciation for the opportunities that education and your chosen path have provided you. Gratitude truly has the ability to transform our perspectives and bring positivity into our lives. May your continued practice of gratitude bring you continued growth and fulfillment. Thank you for being a part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge community!

  5. Jeanine Byers on July 7, 2023 at 6:30 pm

    This is so good, Paul! And I appreciate your sharing your story. I am having difficult times right now. But I try to appreciate the same kinds of things you’re talking about, like sunshine or a cup of tea, or watching a movie or reading a book. And when I can get the medicine I need. And this post has really encouraged me!! Thank you.

    • Paul on July 10, 2023 at 8:50 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words and sharing your experience, I really appreciate it. I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through difficult times, but I admire your resilience in finding appreciation for the simple things like sunshine, a cup of tea, or enjoying a movie or book. It’s these small moments of gratitude that can bring a bit of light into our lives. I’m glad to hear that this post has encouraged you, and I hope it continues to remind you of the importance of finding joy and gratitude amidst challenges. Remember, you’re not alone, and we’re here to support you. Take care!

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