Monday, March 12, 2018

How Gratitude Helps Cure Depression and Anxiety

It might seem like a far-fetched concept to say that depression can be improved or anxiety can be helped by gratitude but it has basis that gratitude is good for your health. 

The meaning of gratitude put simply is making an active decision to be grateful for the good things in your life rather than focussing on the negative.

This definition also implied that gratitude is a choice that you make and if you practice it enough, it can become a habit. There are so many ways you can do this including a gratitude journal, affirmative quotes, a gratitude jar, journal app or book. The main reason I LOVE practicing gratitude is because it so drastically lifts your mood and can be perfectly explained in this quote from the one and only Tony Robbins.

"The antidote to fear is gratitude. The antidote to anger is gratitude. You can't feel fear or anger while feeling gratitude at the same time."

In this post we are going to run through easy and practical ways you can practice gratitude daily.

But first, let’s get into some gratitude examples
So what are some examples of things to be grateful for? Well, where do I begin?! Seriously, once you start practicing gratitude daily it becomes SUPER easy. It’s almost like exercising a muscle and it gets stronger the more regularly you do it. You can start super simple and it can be something as easy as the basics like food, water, shelter, safety, health. You can start to get deeper with being grateful for your family support system and financial security. You can get really personal like being grateful for feeling happiness and contentment in your life at that moment. Or you can be really specific and be grateful for things like “my best friend making time to help me talk through a specific issue even though she is really busy”.

Gratitude Meditation
There is something so energizing and uplifting about both meditation and gratitude so you get the best of both worlds when you combine the two. What this entails is a regular meditation session where you sit and reflect, focussing on your breathing. Side note – if you haven’t gotten into meditation yet or know about its benefits check out my ‘meditation for beginners resource’ here. The only addition to regular meditation is that you focus it around your gratitude thoughts and focus on things you are grateful for.

Gratitude Journal
You can spend time with pen and paper, writing lists about the things you are most grateful for in your life each day. Or there are gratitude apps that set up a layout for daily lists of things you are grateful for. Another way to count your blessings daily is to create a section in your planner dedicated to gratitude. You can even just start a note in your phone for this kind of list! Gratitude Jar So say that you’re in a terrible headspace to where you don’t want to list out the things you are grateful for because it seems to difficult (although it’s possible to be grateful at all times, it can also be very challenging). This is when a gratitude jar can help because you pull out little pieces of paper that have individual things you are grateful for. These are notes you add to when you are in a grateful mood and will no doubt kick your negative thinking by reading them in tough times.

Affirmative Quotes
This particular exercise can be useful if you respond well to affirmations. This means reading yourself a positive statement and as such aligning your energy with it and believing in the message. An example of this might be “I am grateful for the gifts that I have to offer the world and trust that I am in the right place and time to share my unique talents”.

By incorporating gratitude into your daily life you will feel a powerful shift in your energy. You will start to feel happier and more content with what you do have, rather than focussing on what you don’t have. You will also be happier day-to-day because you are focussing on all the great things going on in your life so that is where your attention is directed. What you think, you become.

What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create. So make sure your thoughts are good quality and put you in a good place mentally. You can be your best friend or your word enemy so make sure you make the right decision.

1 comment:

. said...

Are you serious? Depression is not "oh, I feel sad today" it is a serious disturbance in someone's brain usually linked to a serious event or the neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine not reaching the brain/communicating.
Saying things about gratitude .. Really.