Gratitude / Thankfulness / Appreciation – – these are tiny seeds…
… powerful enough to turn our minds and lives from a state of despair toward freedom and joy. I know, because they worked for me. And while I know every person and situation is different, I believe they can work for you, too.
It’s Thanksgiving Weekend here in the United States and I was thinking about a family tradition of sitting around the dinner table, and prior to digging in, someone says, “Let’s go around the table and everyone say something you are thankful for.”
I used to HATE that.
Because, for most of my life, I was mildly to seriously depressed and had a very low opinion of myself and my prospects in the world. I didn’t feel thankful. I felt I had nothing to be thankful for… so I would have to lie.
But I was a master at “acting as if” (depressed people often are) so I always put on a happy face and managed to say something short and positive – and got the attention off of me as quickly as possible.
Fast forward to some time in 2018 when an acquaintance suggested I try keeping a gratitude journal. At the time, I thought it was B.S. But there was a small part of my mind that hung on to the idea…and a few months later, with much cynicism, I decided to try it.
In hindsight, I now realize that was the turning point for me. A tiny, first step, which eventually led to me overcoming my depression and living a life of joy and freedom from all the inner guilt and judgment that had kept me down.
Now to be clear – – keeping a gratitude journal is not the only thing I’ve done to get over depression. There were years of therapy and medication. And years of seeking and learning from several mentors. Everyone’s depression is different…and if you suffer from it you MUST seek professional help and guidance to deal with it safely.
But I AM saying that keeping a gratitude journal is a powerful practice that will take you just a few minutes per day (more if you like) and will begin to turn your habitual thinking away from dwelling on the negative and train you to look for and find the positive things about yourself and your life.
And as you do that…you will begin to feel better and begin to see new possibilities.
You can start a gratitude journal with any paper you have around, or a blank notebook. But if you want a beautifully made journal to write in that will guide you with current, science-backed information about the power of gratitude, then I HIGHLY recommend you buy the Gratitude Journal from Habit Nest! I’ve used it, and several others of their habit-building journals, and it’s a great help to get you started in this new practice.
If you use my link here, I will get a small commission, but it doesn’t change the price you pay. (Their Black Friday Sale is going on now!)
With gratitude for YOU, my readers, I wish you joy and peace, this holiday season, and all year round.