How to Be Grateful Even When Things Suck

Photo: Courtney Hedger


Showing gratitude seems like an easy enough gig. You show up, you say thanks for what you’ve got, you go about your business. If only it were that simple.

It’s easy to be grateful when life is tickety-boo but can you throw down the same big love for your share of problems? Exactly! That’s when gratitude becomes more than just a good-time sentiment; it becomes an attitude.

So, how do we keep from indulging in the ‘boo hoo, life sucks’ blues when life isn’t quite going as planned.

Easy. A simple shift in perspective (and a side serving of humility) is all that’s required to give blessings and banes equal billing. With regular practice, you’ll soon begin to see how life’s balance sheet is tipped in your favour.


We’re very quick to shake a fist at instead of fist-pumping the universe/God/the source/ ourselves (delete as appropriate) for our life’s lot, so this is a golden opportunity to embrace life’s more challenging experiences (past or present).


A bad break-up? Finances in a jocker? Think about what that problem has taught you. By viewing the predicament from a position of gratitude, you’re empowering yourself to learn from troublesome situations in the past, find solutions for the future or at least make peace with the present.

By showing gratitude for what we have and what we may have wished for in the past but never got, we’ll be better positioned to understand why missed opportunities are, with hindsight, the best things we never had.

Consider it a disappointment ointment, an expectation crusher, an entitlement antidote and an envy eradicator. Most of all, consider gratitude a form of presence – on a stick, covered in sticky toffee, just waiting to be enjoyed.