Get into the gratitude habit

When I am having a particularly difficult time in my life, I lose perspective easily. My anxiety, depression or worries really can overtake me and my negative thoughts really can multiply. One trick that has helped improve my mood and helped me to keep things in perspective is allowing daily gratitude into my life. It is so easy to focus on what we don't have instead of what we do have. Once the negative thoughts and feelings overrun me, I usually feel like it will always be this way and nothing will change. This is completely false and irrational. Past feelings, bad experiences do not necessarily predict the future. Hope may be just beyond the horizon!

When treating people with depression, I have them begin making a daily gratitude journal. When we take time to be grateful, it stops the mind for a minute to really think about the small but important things in our lives. What really is a priority, what really matters to you? As you practice it more and more, you will feel your mood lifting from the dark place that it settled into. As an example, in the morning I tell myself "I am thankful for a restful sleep" and after each meal "I am thankful for this food.” When practiced regularly you will find more and more things to be thankful for. Daily gratitude can make you develop a greater appreciation for life and understanding how many blessings are there for you already. It sends out positive energy to the universe and it will help you to feel more centered, and puts whatever struggles you are dealing with in a different light. Try it for a week and notice how it changes your mood.