Two of the sure-fire ways to help people overcome any adversity they are facing is to find positivity and express gratitude. Especially, now, as the pandemic has turned our world upside down – personally and professionally. Adversities are a fact of life, each one of us will have to face them no matter what. They will indeed differ from person to person in terms of severity, but we will have them at some point or the other. Nobody is immune.
As I faced so many adversities/life changes over the last four years, it has taught me the importance of positivity and gratitude. To find positivity in everything you do and expressing gratitude have extreme healing qualities which allow you to face your adversities and its resulting normal. My experience suggests that, both “finding positivity” and “expressing gratitude” are a choice one has. I had that choice to make. To be sad and miserable about my adversities or accept them and find ways to be positive and to express gratitude. I CHOSE the latter. I decided self-pity and complaining were not options for me. Of-course you are born with some positivity and the ability to express gratitude. But more importantly, they can be learnt or developed. It is like working out, the more you do it the more you develop fitness. But it is easier said than done.
Before my adversities, like many, I used to think “Why a particular thing is not good or why I don’t like someone” etc. But I discovered that “being positive” is highly cathartic and helps you face your adversities. I shifted my mindset by design. Now, I looked at what is positive in a thing or person first. Its not easy but practicing it makes it easier. I did several things which helped me be more positive and express gratitude. The two things which helped me the most were – volunteering my time and the daily habit of journaling. Volunteering my time at Inova Fairfax Hospital to whom I owed my life made me feel good about myself after facing so many adversities as I was being useful to this non-profit hospital and was giving back despite my health. The daily journaling habit I developed at Nimba – the naturopathy center in Gujarat, India where I undertook many holistic treatments and therapies was extremely useful to me for this. Everyday, I would write the journal which I had never done before. I was a big “To-do” list person but never documented my feelings this way. Also, at the end of each day, before going to bed, I would write down in my journal the three things I was proud of and thankful for that day. I also developed the habit of “thanking” people more by design. Not that I did not do it before, but I made a point to thank people more whenever I could in whatever format – emails, calls etc.
Being positive and expressing gratitude allowed me to accept my life changes and in embracing my new normal with grace. As my Linked In connection Christopher Hummel says “Storms don’t last forever. Be patient and focus on the positive on the other side.”