Practising Gratitude in the Time of Adversity

Anita Maree Purves, Head of PE & Sports

‘If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.’ J P Sartre

Despite self-isolation being promoted as the best course of action in the current climate, seclusion isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. Whether you are having to self-isolate on your own or with family members, having to spend extended periods of time confined to the same four walls can be the perfect platform for negative thoughts and limiting beliefs to take root, focusing on everything you don’t have and feeding that scarcity mindset.

Instead, wouldn’t it be great if we used our time of confinement to develop our qualities and personal traits in company we could enjoy? The emphasis on joy.

Elaine S Marshall famously said ‘Gratitude is the gateway to joy’. Making the choice to purposefully choose gratitude for what’s in front of you, no matter how small, is a great way to invite joy into your life. While it may seem hard to be joyful given the global pandemic we are facing, I would encourage you to start making gratitude a part of your daily schedule.

The more we recognise things we are thankful for and apply conscious acknowledgment of them, the more opportunities for gratitude we attract into our life. While there are many unknowns at this particular moment, everyone has things that they can be grateful for. Start by consciously acknowledging the little positives such as an extra 10 minutes’ sleep or finding the perfectly ripe avocado with zero blemishes – they will all soon add up.

Finding moments to be grateful for in difficult circumstances is a great way to push through the chaos and confusion and make it out unscathed. The more you practice gratitude the harder it becomes for those negative thoughts and limiting beliefs to take hold. So what are some things we can be grateful for in the midst of the Corona pandemic?

  • Time to connect meaningfully with loved ones and spend more time with them
  • Reduced CO2 emissions as factories shut down globally and the earth gets a chance to breathe
  • Wildlife thriving in areas that have been uninhabited for long periods of time
  • International promotion and investment in altruism

While this isn’t in any way meant to take away from the severity of the pandemic, it certainly gives us food for thought on what is really important and how we can best use this period of isolation to do better when life eventually goes back to ‘normal’. Building positive habits that force us to see the good in all situations and be grateful for them is an easy place to start.

‘Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.’

– Melody Beatti