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10 Things We Can Be Grateful for No Matter How Tough Things Get

10 Things We Can Be Grateful for No Matter How Tough Things Get

When times are tough it’s really easy to forget the everything we have to be grateful for. Henrik Edberg of The Positivity Blog takes us back to basics and shares the 10 things he’s always grateful for no matter how touch times get:

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some days are just great. Things go as planned or even better and you bounce from meetings to tasks to your private life and you feel wonderful on the inside.

Then there are other days.

Days when you do not feel much motivated at all. When your best laid plans go out the window before the day has barely begun.

When something important unexpectedly goes wrong and you get that sinking feeling in your stomach. Or when you feel sorry for yourself and honestly just want to go back to bed and to sleep again.

Maybe the simplest and certainly one of the most effective ways to turn such a day, week or month around into something more positive and better is in my experience to turn your focus to gratitude.

Because even if things look tough today or for the next 3 or 6 months I can always find something or several things to feel very grateful for about my life.

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So I’d like to share a small list of 10 simple, fundamental things that I feel grateful for. I usually only reflect on one or a few of these things when I need to but I thought a list like this one could be helpful both for you and for me.

Maybe not every item on this list works in your life, then take what works from here and create and add to put together your own list.

1. A roof over my head and a warm home.

I live in Sweden, a country where the winters are cold and snowy and the fall and often spring can be quite rainy.

So I often return to this one.

Few things feel better than to reflect upon having warm home and a roof over my head when it is cold and windy outside and I can hear the rain beating hard on my window.

2. Plenty of drinkable water.

I love water and drink plenty of it every day. It is certainly something I take for granted from time to time. But it is not a given.

780 million people lack access to safe drinking water according to water.org.

3. I don’t have to go hungry.

Plus, most of things I cook and/or eat are quite tasty and healthy. And sometimes they are simply wonderful.

So I have much to be grateful for when it comes to food.

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4. I can enjoy the small and free pleasures of life.

A sunrise.

A relaxing walk in the woods.

A cool swim in the ocean.

A crisp Autumn day when the trees are filled with leaves of vibrant and spectacular colors.

The sun warming my face after many days of the sky being filled with dreary, gray clouds.

5. Access to the internet.

When I was really young back in the 80’s and 90’s and you wanted to learn about something then you had to ask someone who may have had spotty knowledge. Or you had to visit the local library and maybe there was a book or magazine about it.

Things are so different now and even though it is just a part of everyday life it still amazing.

I can learn about pretty much anything online. I can add new skills and habits to make my life happier and more awesome with the help of what other people share online.

And there is the opportunity to connect with and get to know people from all around the world.

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6. My friends and family.

For the love, support, kindness and all the fun that they offer and I get to offer them.

7. My health.

I do not have the indestructible body of Superman. But if I treat it well and get plenty of sleep, work out and eat healthy then it works really wonderfully well almost all the time.

Sure, I get sick sometimes.

But overall I have very, very much to be thankful for that I often take for granted about my body and how it helps me to do everything – see, listen, walk, write, hug, kiss, think and experience my world – every day.

8. The kindness of people I have never met before.

Every day I get kind and supportive emails and messages from people all around the world that I have never met but who reads my blog or newsletters. Their expressions of gratitude make my life happier and help me when things feel tough.

And I truly appreciate the simple kindness in the rest of my daily life too when people let me skip ahead of them in the checkout line in the store when I only have a few items. When they stay for a few seconds and hold up the door for me too. Or let me into their lane when I drive.

9. The setbacks that have formed me and made me stronger.

I have been really ill a few times in my life and these experiences has made me stronger mentally and given me the gift of being very appreciative of modern medicine and of my own body and taking good care of it.

Last year was in a way the toughest one yet for my business as the number of visitors to my website via Google went down in big, big leaps month after month. That has changed in a very positive way over these last few months but 2013 really helped me to work harder and smarter than ever.

And it has made me more appreciative than ever of the opportunity I have with what I do here.

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10. I am alive.

I have like everyone else been in situations where an accident and being in the wrong place for just a few seconds could have meant I would not have been here anymore.

If I had been born in another time or in another place then there is a big chance that I would not have been here to experience my 33:rd birthday.

But I am here now. I have this moment and day and hopefully many days still to experience and live my life.

It is an amazing thing.

What do you feel grateful for even when you might be going through a tough day or time?

Henrik Edberg lives on the west coast of Sweden and for the past 7 years he has been writing about self-esteem and happiness at The Positivity Blog.

10 Simple Things You Can Be Grateful for Even When Times are Tough | Positivity Blog

Featured photo credit: tcmorgan via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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