So What About Gratitude?

 

We hear a lot about gratitude these days. I think most of us kind of know what gratitude is, right? It’s about being happy with what we have or maybe happy with the cool stuff around us? Maybe?

 

I think having gratitude is about being in the moment and being honestly pleased to be there. We get so involved with our phones and other media, we forget that life is happening all around us. Our daily life includes interactions with other people, eating, exercising, sleeping, working and various other activities. We are so involved with all of these things that we often forget to stop and notice life. We don’t see the beauty of our life, the kindness of people, the good feelings within us when we eat a nice meal or have a good workout. We are busy doing the next thing.

 

Recent studies have shown that gratitude is likely a culturally learned behavior (Harriman, 2020). Our natural state would be to be self-serving and focused on our own outcome. However, when we experience others behaving generously with us, we tend to feel we can be generous with others. This cycle within a community can be contagious.

 

Be a trend setter and notice the good in your life and share your joy and gratitude with others. An easy way to start is just to notice three things, right this moment, that you like. It can be anything, from the fit of your shoes to the color of the sky, anything that makes you happy. Those things are gratitude, share that joy and your mood will likely lighten and you are helping others with their own gratitude.

 

Harriman, P. (2020, January 6). Grudges before gratitude. Retrieved January 25, 2020, from https://news.uci.edu/2020/01/06/grudges-before-gratitude/

Feelings of Depression

 

Our moods vary as we navigate our lives.  We have periods of happiness and joy and periods of sadness and despair. When these feelings of despair persist for 2 or more weeks, we may be experiencing a depressive episode.  Depression can vary in intensity from mild, moderate and severe.  The feelings of depression are frequently described as despair, worthlessness, and hopelessness. The intensity of these feelings can fluctuate between coping with our day to day lives to inability to function in any type of activity.  They can be a reflection of our life situation at the time; such as unemployment, bereavement, psychological trauma and other life challenges. 

 

There is a body mind connection when we are looking at depression. Our health conditions can trigger depression and depression can trigger adverse health conditions.  The ideas of wellness are based on the mind body connection. It is important for us to look at our entire health, not just our physical health or mental health.  What we eat, how much we sleep, and exercise, collectively has an impact on our mood.

   

There are successful treatments for depression.  There are various techniques in talk therapy that can help elevate the symptoms of depression.  Talking with friends and family about the underlying issues of concern can also be helpful to those who are experiencing depression.  We can also try bringing order to our environment and trying to engage in activities that we enjoy can jump start us into feeling more aligned with our desired feelings.  Learning to use healthy coping skills can be learned and activated when needed.  Depression is not a condition that has to dominate our stories, we can learn to cope and manage these feelings, we can live the lives that we want. 

 

Depression. (2020, January). Retrieved August 15, 2020, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression

Janet Varela Colletto, MS, LPC

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