Fostering gratitude is a skill that can literally transform our lives from the inside out. The more we acknowledge the joys, blessings and lessons in our lives, the more we continuously find to be grateful for. Gratitude is a positive, affirming and empowering practice that can impact all areas, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

But what happens during those seemingly bleak, fruitless and dismal moments when our gratitude has dried up like so much withering grass? When we feel like we're giving our all and yet are witnessing no positive outcomes? When life feels dull, lackluster and riddled with anxiety and fear? How can we possibly bring gratitude into such turbulent or uncertain times?

During such moments, I like to pose the following question: "In this moment in time, what could I be grateful for?" The emphasis here, of course, is on "Could." Yes, life contains many uncertainties. Yes, at the moment it may feel bleak and unhappy. And, yes, right now you may see no glimmering light at the end of this fear-filled tunnel. But what could you be grateful for, in spite of all that?

Here are three reasons why the question, "What could I be grateful for?", is so powerful:

  1. It brings us back to a positive focus. While I firmly believe in honoring where you are, including the scary or seemingly negative emotions, living there permanently can drag you further down into the fear, stagnation or hopelessness that you are currently experiencing. Coming back to reflect on what you could be grateful for immediately shifts your energies and perspective into a more hopeful place and uplifted state of being, from which you can create positive change.
  2. It reminds you of those blessings which you are likely taking for granted. Do you have someone, or several someones, in your life who love and respect you, human or otherwise? Do you have a roof over your head and food on your table? Can you read this article? Do you have clothes on your back, electricity, and an internet connection to give you access to the world around you, ? Are you breathing? Sometimes, the most subtle things are, indeed, the most precious. When life feels like it’s fragmenting around you, hold fast to those lovely, deeply meaningful gems that we all so often take for granted. They are the bedrock of our lives that bring us the greatest joy, love and satisfaction. Let us remember to cherish them as the treasures they are.
  3. It reminds us that "this too shall pass", which is another great mantra in and unto itself. No matter how seemingly bad, scary or uncertain life is, there are shining diamonds amidst the rust. Every moment allows us a powerful opportunity to remember and embrace this truth. There is reason for hope, for keeping on keeping on, and for continuing to find joy in this remarkable, crazy, ever-shifting journey called "life." By returning to a mindset of gratitude, we alter the balance of our emotions, so that we can more fully open to receive the joy, peace and fulfillment we seek.

While it's generally easy to remember to be grateful when we're feeling happy and times are good, this is not always the case when turmoil sets in. Utilizing the above process can be a fast and effective method for turning our emotions around. This, in turn, can be a cornerstone in shifting the trajectory of our current path to bring us into alignment with greater serenity, joy and well-being. May you find much for which to be grateful, in this moment and in all moments to come.

Author's Bio: 

Kim Loftis is the spiritual serenity coach, assisting her clients in creating profoundly loving, uplifting and ttransformational partnerships with the God(s) of their understanding. Kim is devoted to teaching spiritual tools and practices that are highly customizable, interfaith, and fun to implement, and which provide positive shifts in all areas of your life and work. To learn more about how you can discover and cultivate spiritual serenity, please visit Kim at: http://www.KimLoftis.com where you can read her life-enhancing blog posts, sign up for her bi-weekly newsletter, and check out her affirming Prayersongs. Kim would be honored to connect with you.