Research has repeatedly shown that gratitude — the act of being thankful and appreciative — is good for your mental health. And I think most of us know from experience that practicing gratitude improves our mood and creates a more positive outlook on life.
But incorporating gratitude into our everyday lives can be hard. Sometimes we don’t feel grateful. Other times we’re worried about the future or troubled by the past. And other times we’re busy and simply don’t make time for it. To help you break through these barriers and create a gratitude practice that works for you, I gathered several articles I’ve written (and a couple from my colleagues) about gratitude. I hope you find them supportive.
7 Ways to Practice Gratitude When You’re Feeling Depressed
Are you feeling down and not particularly grateful this Thanksgiving? Well, you’re not the only one who can’t muster that grateful feeling. Depression, sadness, grief, and loneliness can make it difficult to do much of anything at times. Unfortunately, our problems don’t just disappear because it’s a holiday. When things are going wrong and you’re struggling, it’s hard to feel thankful. I decided to consult mental health and relationship experts to provide you with some strategies for practicing gratitude when you’re feeling depressed. They each offer a different perspective and I hope at least one of them will spark your interest in gratitude as a useful part of feeling better.
Expert Advice on How to Practice Gratitude All Year Long
This is the season of gratitude. Thanksgiving is a recognition and celebration of our blessings, but you will find tremendous benefit in practicing gratitude all year long. It just takes a little practice and planning — and using these actionable tips from six experts will help you maintain an attitude of gratitude all year long.
Awakening of Gratitude
In this article, my colleague Connie Habash shares a personal story about how she had an awakening of gratitude and how she reconnected with a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude.
How to Practice Gratitude When You’re Feeling Discouraged
When we’re feeling discouraged, alone, anxious, or angry, it’s hard to be grateful. We know we’re supposed to feel grateful. It’s Thanksgiving-time after all. But you may be having a hard time tapping into gratitude right now. Sometimes we have to work at feeling grateful. But it’s a worthwhile practice. Gratitude shifts the focus from problems to positives. When we focus on the good things in our lives, we train our brains to look for the positives. So, by practicing gratitude we will notice more of the good things in the world. Our problems don’t disappear, but they can feel more manageable.
Being Thankful for the Present
In this article, my colleague David Teachout shares how gratitude is rooted in the present; that it’s a mindfulness practice that reminds us not to lose sight of what’s directly around us.
30 Journal Prompts to Cultivate a Grateful Heart
To get the benefits of gratitude, we need to practice it consistently, which means we need to plan a way to incorporate gratitude into our already overscheduled, overstressed lives. One way to practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal. In this article, you’ll learn more about creative ways to use a gratitude journal, including 30 gratitude journal prompts to get you started.
If you’d like a free PDF copy of the gratitude journal prompts (and other free resources for cultivating gratitude and coping with the holidays), sign-up below for my weekly emails and resource library.
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