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Navigating Difficult Times With Grace

Navigating Difficult Times With Grace

Life can be complicated. Full of ups and downs.

Easy to celebrate and rejoice in the ups but more difficult to accept and journey through the downs.

How do we navigate the difficult times with grace when the world can feel as if it is caving in all around us? How do we embrace these moments open to the lessons and opportunities for growth?

It starts with gratitude.

Yes, I totally get how very difficult it is to focus on gratitude when nothing seems to be going right. However, during these times is exactly when we need to focus most on gratitude. Finding our small blessings in life can help us to focus on what is good instead of all that is wrong. It helps to train our mind in the direction we want to go. It is all about the mindset.

I believe so strongly in gratitude that I created a whole bracelet collection around this idea, and designed one specific bracelet, Three Blessings, which directly encourages you to look for three little blessings every single day. You can download the free journal page that complements this bracelet and start counting your daily blessings. I also really like this gratitude journal which is simple and allows you to easily look back through your daily entries - good for when you are having a down day!

There are countless studies that show how gratitude can positively affect your mental health, relationships, physical health and even self esteem. It is not a quick fix though. Gratitude is something you need to consciously practice every day. You can start with the little things…..grateful for a roof over your head, the blooming flowers, fresh water (something we often take for granted that is a luxury in too many countries!), or a soft breeze. I often find inspiration from nature. When you slow down and take the time to be present in the moment, you will be amazed at how the little things can really bring you joy.

Start right now. What are three things you are grateful for?

Don’t stress about the little bumps in the road.

I especially love this quote by Epictetus

We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.

Our automatic response is to react and it takes some training to slow down and choose our reaction. You know that feeling when you are suddenly caught in bad traffic when you have somewhere to be? Our immediate impulse is to get aggravated and angry. But what does that really do? It does not make the traffic clear up but instead raises our adrenaline and makes us more reactive and can set the tone for the rest of the day. What if instead we accepted the situation and the fact that it is one we have no control over? It won’t help us with getting to where we need to be any quicker but it will put us in a better state of mind. Your stress level will significantly decrease and you will be better able to handle the little bumps in the road, which will in turn prepare you to better handle the bigger challenges you may face in your life.

You know that saying “fake it until you make it?” How can you start faking being calm and more centered until it actually becomes the new and improved you? 

Make a difference.

I am always inspired by people that have suffered difficult life circumstances and instead of letting these events control their lives, they choose to use them to help others. In fact, that is a large basis of Personal Hero - honoring those people that are making a difference. It takes a lot of strength to turn a difficult situation around into finding a way for it to be of some good. But by finding that inner strength within you and choosing to make a difference, you often not only impact the lives of others but you are able to find meaning in the pain. You are able to find strength in the sharing of your story and helping others going through a similar experience. This can in turn help you indeed heal.

There are so many people that I am inspired by.

Jeairy who suffered third degree burns when she was a teenager and is now on a mission to “empower those who have been affected with burn injuries, bullying victims, physical disfigurement, and low self-esteem through peer support”. <<read her story>>

Sherie who has bowel cancer and is sharing her journey with other cancer victims in order to create a network of support and encouragement. <<read her story>>

Molly whose child was born with out a limb which prompted her to form Lucky Fin Project which “distributes awareness materials, financially support efforts to have children attend specialized camps, obtain prosthetics, and to fund other organizations within the limb different community.” <<read her story>>

If you are needing some inspiration, visit our blog of Personal Hero stories and you will find many stories to lift you up!

Remember, difficult times don’t last. Be patient with yourself while they are here. Practice gratitude, not stressing the small stuff, and looking for ways you can make a difference. In the process of doing this you will find the bumpy road to be a little smoother.

Need a daily reminder to allow yourself grace? This Grace Gratitude bracelet includes the message "Permission to accept your imperfections and love yourself unconditionally."

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