Gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools we have available every single day to increase our happiness and overall well-being. Having a daily gratitude practice improves our physical and psychological health, reduces aggression, enhances empathy, increases mental strength and self-esteem and may even make us sleep better.

We all have our ups and downs in life and sometimes it can be hard to see the positive in an especially challenging situation. However, if you can see the bright side of things and can find the positive even when things are tough, you will be able to turn things around.

Instead of the standard blessings we turn to when we think of gratitude, today we want you to take a second to be thankful for the things you may not consider blessings, but you should.

Here are our TOP 10 unexpected things you should be grateful for in life.


#1 Failure
It is important to realize that failure isn’t the end of the world. What failure really is, is the possibility for something new that might be much more suitable for us and through making a mistake and failing we have the opportunity to learn and grow and can tackle our next project a little wiser. Moving on to something else will open up our minds, time and energy to devote to a new idea that could be absolutely brilliant and get us to live the life of our dreams.

#2 Struggle
Here we are talking about intentional struggle. The kind of struggle you experience when you choose to work incredibly hard or you push yourself through a physical or mental barrier or you sacrifice your time in order to get something important done. This kind of fight or struggle stretches your perceived limitations and you will realize that you are capable of so much more than you thought. Struggling is a great opportunity to find out who you really are as well as find out who you really want to be.

#3 Sadness
When you are sad, it means that you are an emotional human being capable of caring. Sadness means that you have the ability to connect with others on an emotional level and can empathize with their situation. Consider yourself lucky to be able to feel, it is a lot better than not having any emotions at all. Just keep in mind, being sad right now means that you can be happy and joyful when the time is right.

#4 Criticism
Sometimes it can be hard to take criticism, but keep in mind, people only criticize when they actually care. Be grateful that people care enough about you or your business to take the time to criticize. Every criticism is the opportunity to do something better or differently or create a new solution. Criticism is a possibility to get introspective and figure out where we can actually improve ourselves and learn and grow. Be aware though, sometimes criticism is directed at you, but a person is frustrated with themselves and needs to lash out at someone and you just happen to be there. Have the clarity to differentiate between a criticism that can be an amazing opportunity and one that you simply need to let go.


#5 Delay
Being patient is something we really struggle with, but having to wait for something can be an amazing thing. Research shows for example that you get your biggest boost in happiness in planning and anticipating your vacation. The anticipation will keep you motivated and keep you going until it’s time to get to the airport. Be grateful that you need to wait for something you really want. The anticipation is always worth it. Besides, waiting for what you want is a luxury that you can only afford if you are already blessed.

#6 Envy
Envy isn’t always a bad thing. Envy comes along with admiration. Just think about it, when we respect and admire someone, we want to be a little bit more like them. Be grateful that these people are in your life to show you what is possible and make you want to stretch yourself so you can reach the stars as well.

#7 Heartbreak
While we can all agree that heartbreak doesn’t feel good in the moment, it will ultimately make us wiser, stronger and more experienced. Every new heartbreak gives us new knowledge and wisdom to be able to tell the difference between a lie and the truth, loyalty and deceit and over time between dreams and reality. Heartbreak teaches us to bounce back and introduces us to our true friends.

#8 Boredom
We tend to avoid boredom at all cost and keep ourselves relentlessly busy and numb ourselves with distractions. But boredom is the ultimate rest and reset challenge for our mind. Out of boredom creativity is born. Just think about it, boredom really challenges you to come up with creative ways to engage in life and opens up a much broader sense of understanding about what it is that you want out of life.

#9 Sore Muscles
When you feel sore after an intense workout, you have prove that you’ve done something challenging for your body. Soreness means that your muscles are working hard to repair the micro-tears that you made during your workout. Instead of complaining about the pain, see soreness as an active sign that you are carving that killer physique you’ve been dreaming about and your muscles are working overtime to heal themselves. Another reason why muscle soreness should be on your gratitude list is that every single time you ask your body to do something that is above your normal activity level, it steps up to the challenge and gives its all to carry out your dreams.

#10 People Who Frustrate Us
The people in our lives train our depth of character, whether we realize it or not. And especially people who frustrate us challenge us to practice patience and choose kindness over disengagement or apathy. Ultimately, frustrating people inspire us to become a better version of ourselves and to be just a little bit more loving to those around us, a little bit more understanding and a little bit kinder, so we won’t become someone who frustrates others.

We all have the opportunity and ability to cultivate gratitude. Simply take a few moments every morning or at night right before you go to bed and think about three things or people you are grateful for. Developing an attitude of gratitude rather than complaining about all the things that went wrong is one of the easiest ways to improve happiness and life satisfaction.

Joschi & Monika

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