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Gratitude is Key: How to Be Happy in Hard Times

We may struggle to be grateful in difficult times, but gratitude has an important role in our happiness. 

We may find ourselves focusing on the negative effects that COVID-19 has had on our lives, and with good reason. But we should also remember the good things that have come from it.

Close-up photo of white and pink plants with a quote by Kim S. Cameron that says, "Especially in times when stress and anxiety can be overwhelming, a simple prescription is to count our blessings."

Photo by Pok Rie

In her article “Coping with the Coronavirus with Gratitude,” Kim S. Cameron mentions that we can view COVID-19 as a blessing rather than a curse, saying, “This is an opportunity to notice what’s going right with the world, or to account for the triumphs that we often take for granted.” If we look deeper, we can see that there are many good things that have come from the pandemic. Cameron observes that it has given us “the chance to renew family relationships,” and it has helped us “prepare for significant tragedies and traumatic events.” COVID-19 has made us “re-evaluate priorities and plans for the future” so that we can continue to improve our lives in spite of hardship.

Cameron also highlights some of the benefits from being grateful that have been scientifically studied. When you are grateful, you are healthier—“physically, emotionally, and mentally.” Perhaps these benefits could be the reason the scriptures (Psalm 100:3-4; Alma 34:38)  and prophets have been telling us for a long time to express gratitude often: it makes us happy. And now recent studies are supporting what God has been teaching us all along. God wants us to be happy, and we can further enjoy life by being grateful to him.

We gain so much when we express gratitude. Expressing gratitude can improve every aspect of our lives, even when things outside seem bleak.

Read more about the positive influence of gratitude in “Coping with the Coronavirus with Gratitude” by Kim S. Cameron. 

Source: BYU Wheatley Institution

—Elizabeth James, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights

To read more about recognizing blessings to be grateful for, read “Trials: Mercies in Disguise” by Sarah Harris.

Watch “Want to be Happy? Be Grateful” by David Steindl-Rast to continue learning about the positive effects of gratitude.

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