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The Silver Lining: Finding a Reason to Smile in Tough Times

When times are tough and you’re in the midst of challenging circumstances, finding a reason to smile can seem impossible.

Finding the silver lining in a tough situation is not always easy, and it can even seem hopeless in some cases.

But it’s there – and finding it can help you endure and get past whatever tough situation you’re currently facing.

Why bother looking for the silver lining?

Seeing the positive side of things does more than just make your feel better in a bad moment. It can also help you overcome challenges in a healthier and more productive way.

Here’s how it can help:

  • Get out of a rut.

When you’re going through a tough stretch in life, it’s easy to fall into a hole of despair and complacency. With so many things going against you, you might feel like there’s nothing you can do to change things. By looking for the silver lining in whatever difficult situation you’re facing, you might realise that you’re not as powerless as you thought.

  • Support your mental health.

Bad days and tough times are inevitable in life. But going through a long stretch of hard times can take its toll on your health, especially your mental well-being. Recognising the good in your situation and finding reasons to smile can go long ways in helping you avoid mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

  • Remind yourself of what’s important.

Seeing the positive side of things can help you remember what’s most important in your life. When you find yourself limited by circumstances and life’s many obstacles, you can quickly realise what matters most to you and what doesn’t.

  • Recognise opportunities.

If you can find reasons to smile even during trying times, you can realise that all is not lost and that you’re not in a hopeless situation. This can help you find opportunities that you may not have seen or thought possible.

  • Help yourself endure.

Getting through tough times can be very difficult, exhausting, and painful. But finding the reasons to smile and seeing the good side of things can help make it easier – even if it’s just a by a little bit.

Tips on how to find the silver lining in tough situations

Finding the silver lining isn’t always easy, but there are techniques you can use to help yourself do it:

  • Practise gratitude.

Practising gratitude and recognising things to be thankful for can help you see the good things that you have in your life despite all the challenges you’re facing.

  • Appreciate the small things.

When the big things in your life are in disarray, appreciating the small things can help get you through.

  • “This too shall pass.”

Remember the famous saying: “This too shall pass.” During tough times, it’s easy to think there’s no light at the end of the tunnel – but remember it’s there. Keep in mind that things don’t last forever, and that change is a fact of life.

  • Do something you love.

Doing something you enjoy or love – even for a short while – can help improve your mood and give you one sure thing to be happy or smile about.

  • Get support.

Get help from family and friends whenever you can – the support from loved ones can go a long way in helping you get through a rough patch. And if you need even more help getting through your situation, don’t be afraid to get professional support and counselling.

Need professional support for your situation?

Book an appointment with our one of our psychologists or professional counsellors to get appropriate support. We can help you understand your circumstances better and provide tools to help you cope and manage tough times.

Delaney Skerrett

Delaney is a senior registered psychologist working with people of all backgrounds and with a special interest in LGBTI+ people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and Indigenous people.

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