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How gratitude saved me from depression

Updated: Oct 23, 2019

So, this one might be a little annoying to hear? I know it's common advice to make a gratitude list daily to help increase your mood. However, it’s true that when you learn and intend on looking for the positive in your life you will eventually start feeling peace. This is such a powerful tool for building your internal strength and finding happiness. I have done a gratitude list on and off most of my life. I definitely know that it does help my mood. However, I will share with you my experience with gratitude that finally brought me to the place of peace most of the time. I started experiencing depression. I was in a job with a boss that was your typical narcissist. Insidious and you don’t know that your soul has been crushed until it's too late. So, I was finding myself in a position where I needed to inspire and encourage people even though I’m broken in the moment. So, I do what most therapists do and try to be my own therapist. I know all the skills and reframing of negative thoughts etc. I would wake up everyday with this dread. Everything seemed so hard to do and I wasn’t able to will myself there. I must say that my work with the clients saved me at that time. I felt most joy when I was working with my clients. As humans we are always in a process of growing and healing. If you choose to know yourself and love that person it will always be a journey of growth. Life is all in the process not in the outcome. The more you view your life that way you can relax and stay in the moment more. Anyway, back to gratitude. So, I didn’t write anything down. I still couldn’t get myself to do this, however every day on my way to work, I started to think about everything I was appreciative in my life for. And for some reason, it started to really click within me. I thought to myself, “I can do this rather than I have to do this.” This is really bizarre but I will share with you anyway, I watch all of the true crime shows. I don’t know why? You can analyze that one if you want. Anyway, it struck me one day that omg I’m so blessed that I’ve never had anyone murdered in my family. Imagine having to live out that experience! So, as I started to practice this more and more my depression started to lift. My brain was turning its attention to appreciation and hope rather than the opposite. So, I wanted to share this skill with you and express how important it is to intentionally focus on what you have and not what you don’t have. You know when your day is going well and then something negative happens you only focus and remember that. That kind of thinking is not going to bring peace or boost your mood. I’m sure writing this down is better because something about putting it down on paper for you to see what you're thinking is powerful. I know that making a list may seem like climbing Mount Everest. So, maybe just start by giving yourself 5 minutes a day to reflect on what you have and what you CAN do today rather than what you have to do. So, I was able to free myself of depression and gratitude got me here and kicking that boss to the curb helped too😊!

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