How many times in a day do you express gratitude?
When was the last time you thanked the Universe for the blessings you received?
“I’m so grateful for all the blessings that I have.”
I know it’s cliché. . .
But it’s one of the most powerful ways to attract good things – gratitude.
Gratitude has been ignored by many for the reason that it’s being used and heard so often.
Or when everything’s falling apart, it’s the most challenging time to find something to be grateful for.
But, do you know, in a proper way, that it can heal depression?
It’s not common to mix analytical views with virtue, but I believe this helps to encourage you to start practicing it for real and with the right steps.
Why Can Gratitude Cure Depression?
I know you’ll be asking,
How can you be grateful in a day and then just heal all the feelings of numbness that you’ve been carrying for months and years?
How can gratitude heal depression with just a simple “thank you?”
Well, it can’t be healed in just a day, and it can’t be cured with just a simple “thank you.”
You have to do it as a daily habit.
As I discussed in Love Thy Mind, each of our choices, actions, and thoughts is important because what we repeatedly say, do, or feel will embed in our subconscious mind over time. If you haven’t yet, read it here.
The bottom-line reason why gratitude is one of the best tools to cure depression is because it is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.
If we repeatedly feel the emotions that gratitude associates with, it will normalize the patterns over time and become permanent.
If we include it in our daily routines, especially before bedtime and the moment we wake up, it’ll help us feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve our health, and build strong relationships.
The more we habitually express gratitude, the more we’ll be focused on our blessings.
The more we are focused on our blessings, the more blessings will come to us – like attracts like.
Depression and The Law of Polarity
Everything that exists has an equal and exact opposite.
You cannot experience sadness without having an idea of being happy.
And you cannot be grateful and unpleasant at the same time just as you cannot be happy and sad at the same time.
Sure, you can be grateful for a moment and then ruminates negative thoughts and emotions in the next 5 seconds, but you can’t feel both at the same time.
Depressed people have chemical imbalance due to – aside from unhealthy foods for the gut – repeated unhealthy emotions, thoughts, and activities.
The underlying issue is in the routines of a person.
Some depressed people describe their state as “feeling dead” that has become their normal.
They will find it very difficult to find something to be grateful because all they usually see is the lack.
Giving more attention to the lack has become their natural response.
If you can relate to this, or at least want to avoid it from happening to yourself, what you should do is normalize the other way around.
Everything has its polarity.
Every single thing has its opposite.
Try to find that one thing that you can be grateful for even when you’re in the middle of something undesirable.
Find that one thing even for its smallest reason, because from that little light, you can expand its immensity through repetition.
Do it every day, without skipping a day, and in the long run, you’ll be surprised how it’ll change your life.
Gratitude will gradually disconnect you from toxic emotions and the rumination of the mind that often accompanies them.
Tips on How to Express Gratitude
The more specific, the happier you will feel. When you get specific, your mind will perceive images and visualize the things you’re grateful for. And the more you see those images, the more you will feel the emotions of joy for having them. And the more you feel those emotions, the more you attract things that are alike.
Don’t include the “But’s”
Gratitude with “but’s” is equal to ungraciousness. Never make it a habit to say, “I’m happy about the ___, but…” or “I love my job, but…” – this way will program your subconscious to inevitably look for things you don’t have and feel unsatisfied. Even if you have the reason to say the “but’s,” practice to focus only on the positives.
Before bedtime and early morning gratitude.
The reason why gratitude is crucial before bedtime and after waking up is that these are the times when our subconscious gain and embed information the most. If our mind is in a meditative state – also called the Alpha state – our consciousness that blocks unfamiliar information is not fully active, which makes the subconscious more open to new ideas. Forming the habit of expressing gratitude at these times is the most effective.
Accept the past.
When digging in the past, regrets and gratitude can’t go together. Regrets can’t survive with a grateful heart just as sharks can’t survive in a land. Thank the Universe for the lessons and knowledge that made you who you are today.
Focus on the present moment.
Learn to give more attention to the things you have right now rather than what you lost or what you don’t have. Think about the blessings you have right now. These may be things you wished 5years ago that are currently in front of you. The more you take your focus on what you have, the less you will care about the things you don’t have. The more you focus on the lack, the more “lack” will attract to you. The more you focus on what you have, the more good things will come into your presence.
Faith for the future.
This one is not easy to do for some, especially for depressed people who would easily be more aware of the lack. But being grateful for the days and blessings that are yet to come is a powerful thing. Being thankful for the things that are yet to come would mean an unwavering faith and trust that things will be given to you at the right time. Have faith that God and His Universe is in your favor for the highest good.
In the content “Is Life a Choice, or a Destiny?” I shared a concise story about how I relate to people who waited for life to surprise them to have something to be grateful for.
To be grateful, however, is not just an emotional response;
it is also a choice.