Why is gratitude the single most powerful attitude to take to come out of depression? Keeping a gratitude journal means that each morning and / or evening you list at least three small things, different things, that you were grateful for during the day.
Very often we are put off by the word gratitude because we associate it with a phrase such as “you should be grateful for what you've got”. This is not what this exercise is about at all.
Grateful yes, but “should” is a word that needs deleting from the volcanic surrounding someone in depression. The word “should” is to be replaced by the word “could”, giving power back to the person thinking this thought. “Could” gives a sense of possibility and hope where “should” feels like an obligation.
Each time we appreciate something it appreciates in value. To be grateful for the sunrise as you watch the day dawning will allow the moment to be that much more intense, that much more important.
To be grateful for a text from a friend adds an extra layer of specialness to it.
To be grateful for hot water as you wash your face in the morning brings a more intense feel to the warmth as you splash away the soap.
Gratitude magnifies the moment. A positive moment.
It is the opposite of the usual depressive thoughts that constantly bombard the mind of someone in depression. These thoughts seem out of your control and actively ruling to be grateful counteracts this and brings more stability; more balance in the mind.
When you are out walking take note of your surroundings. Stop from time to time to touch the foliage. Bend down and literally smell the roses. Pick a stalk from a lavender bush and inhale the aroma. Be thankful as you do this. Appreciate the tiny lift it gives to your mood and watch that multiply as you say in your mind “thank you”.
Buy yourself a gratitude journal. Make sure it's an attractive one and fill its pages with appreciative thoughts.
Each night, before going to sleep write down three to five different small things you were grateful for during the day. Not only will this lift your mood it will also set you in the right frame of mind for settling down to sleep.
To be grateful is the quickest, easiest way to lift your spirits just a tiny bit and that tiny bit is hugely important for someone in depression.