Depression Treatments: Gratitude

Depression Treatments: Gratitude

Image result for gratitude rock

Depression Treatments: Gratitude

By: Julia Keys

Positive psychologists are researchers that study how people can improve their overall life satisfaction. A popular and well-researched field within positive psychology is gratitude. Gratitude is the appreciation of the good things in one’s life. When asked to list the things individuals are grateful for the most common answers are large concepts such as health, family, or religion. For people who are chronically ill, depressed, or affected by poverty, it can be difficult to create such a list due to their mental or physical health or financial circumstances. However, what if these individuals were asked to note even the smallest things that make them feel grateful such as their morning cup of coffee, favorite song, or a warm, sunny day?

Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to involve only the big concepts in life. Appreciation for what one has can start small and gradually build up to the larger things. Studies show that practicing daily gratitude can aid in the treatment of depression. People who recognize the things they are grateful for on a daily basis have lower levels of daily stress, depression, and suicidal thoughts, and have higher levels of overall life satisfaction (Patel, 2016).

Ways to Practice Gratitude:

  • Keep a gratitude journal– Keep a journal or notebook on your bedside table and every night before going to bed, write down a short list of things that made you feel grateful or happy that day. Remember, every little thing counts even if they may seem small in the grand scheme of things.
  • Write a gratitude letter– Write a letter to someone you are grateful for describing why you appreciate them and then give it to them. Or, read the letter aloud to them.
  • Express gratitude to anyone that makes your life better– May it be service workers or a close loved one.
  • Incorporate gratitude into your morning routine– Set aside five minutes in the morning to think about the things you appreciate and why you appreciate them. It is a great way to set a positive tone for the day.

Practicing gratitude sounds simple, but it can be challenging. It is important to practice gratitude consistently. Treating gratitude practice as a habit and not a remedy can help those with depression change unhealthy thought patterns that may be exacerbating their symptoms. Being grateful for the little moments is one of the key ways people with depression can gain back their enjoyment, sense of purpose, and appreciation for life.

 Practicing gratitude can have profound effects on one’s life, however sometimes it is not enough. If you or someone you love is practicing gratitude, but still feels as if additional help is needed, feel free to reach out to Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy, located in New York and New Jersey to speak to licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists. To contact the office in Paramus NJ, call (201) 368-3700. To contact the office in Manhattan, call (212) 722-1920. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .

Sources:

https://www.drchristinahibbert.com/10-ways-to-practice-gratitude-today/

https://u.osu.edu/emotionalfitness/2016/12/30/study-impact-of-gratitude-practice-on-depression-and-suicidal-ideation/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/between-you-and-me/201303/5-donts-practicing-gratitude

Source for Picture:

https://www.google.com/search?biw=1600&bih=708&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=CSYaXaT5Kam1gge9qqmwDw&q=gratitude&oq=gratitude&gs_l=img.3..35i39j0i67j0l4j0i67j0l3.6893.8111..8157…0.0..0.115.667.6j2……0….1..gws-wiz-img.OpNuCzljSV0#imgrc=0qbFD-r5NwHLUM:&spf=1561994770863

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s