A Simple Exercise in Gratitude

I am no stranger to anxiety and depression. I have suffered from it for most of my life. Nowadays, I am a little open-minded to the possibility that I can change my mood or at least the view of my day by doing a simple exercise.

It seems that in today’s world, being negative is sort of taking over. There seems to be more and more things that are not acceptable, and there are other things that are acceptable but entirely unattainable for the average person. So, I hope this practice can help you and your outlook.

This exercise is designed to help you think more positively and hopefully be able to help you deal with the negative things a little bit better. It sounds easy, but can be challenging for those stuck in a depressed or anxious state.

You just start by creating a gratitude list each day.

Each day, write down the things that you appreciate in life. You may start off great, but you’ll have a day when nothing seems excellent. That’s where your mind is going to kick in and will help you find the appreciation of the smaller things.

An example for me would be the love of my family, the support of my friends, having a home, and the ability to eat good food. In a few days, it may be harder, so I have to start to look at my current surroundings like, my dog under my foot as I type or this warm cup of coffee that tastes amazing. By consistently practicing this, it helps make me feel good and helps to set up my day a little bit better.

Now you might think that sounds weird, especially if you are currently anxious or depressed, but that’s kind of how it works. I really have started to appreciate the tiny little things. It gives me a moment to get out of my head or opens me up to get help.

It does help me to think more positively and to really start appreciating everything in my life. When you are in a mood, the negative thoughts are a lot more powerful than positive ones. It’s so easy to think of something negative. This exercise, allows your mind to tell your brain, “Ok, you do not like it but, here at least there is something positive in the situation.” You want to keep trying to put these positive thoughts into your mind until they start to become second nature in your daily practice.

I wanted to share this little exercise because it seems to help me. It does take time and patience, but try not to be hard on yourself. Gratitude is something most of us don’t practice because we are stuck in the past or future of being without. This exercise allows me to pay attention to the moment and can help me change my thoughts. I hope it does the same for you.

What kind of practices do you do to help change your mood?

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