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Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude


The most effective way to combat depression is with a heart of gratitude. There are several practices to transform your way of thinking! It is possible to see your cup as half full, instead of always viewing it as half empty.


 

Gratitude is an incredible tool that helps people to see the big picture - instead of staying entangled in the smaller, intricate details of their lives. Gratitude requires a great deal of intentionality, but is so worth every ounce of effort put forth!


There are five ways that are proven effective to cultivate an "attitude of gratitude" in your life!

  1. Count your blessings. Though such a cliché statement, you will be amazed at how taking the step of focusing on the good things instead of dwelling on the negatives will help lighten your mood.

  2. Focus on your long term goals. Instead of remaining bound by a feeling of overwhelm or fear to make a move - place one foot in front of the other and take one step forward at a time. Before you know it, you will have moved beyond your current challenges.

  3. Notice the little things in life. Be mindful of the beauty of the world around you. Find delight in the season's changing colors, and the spread of holiday cheer! Like a child, allow yourself to be in awe of Christmas stringed lights that are being hung. There is delight in each new day, and if we are observant we will have eyes to notice.

  4. Show gratitude through your actions. Instead of simply thinking, "I should do something to say thank you" to someone, actually follow through! Through either kind words or action, thank people for the things they do to help you or to make your life a little easier. It would make a person's day to pen them a short note that says, "You are a blessing, and add so much value to my life. Thank you!"

  5. Keep a journal. This is a favorite tool of psychologists. By regularly reflecting in brief written entries on what you are grateful for, you will expand your awareness of all you really have in your life worth appreciating. It will also increase your sense of well-being!

 

Adapted from "Five Ways to Cultivate an "Attitude of Gratitude" by John-Manuel Andriote.


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