Gratitude Trumps Depression

Gratitude-Linked-Hands PictDepression is a pessimistic state of mind – it is a feeling of despondency that can be caused by inactivity, a deteriorating economic state, any factor that sends the equilibrium of the mind into negative territory, unemployment or even hormones. In other words, depression is what a positive attitude isn’t.

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs? ~G.K. Chesterton

Depression first suffocates and then, if not checked, goes on to completely destroy positive thought. It sends the positive thoughts and attitude process sinking fast, and places the depressed person in a zombie-like stupor. A depressed person slows down at work, does not enjoy family life, ignores or avoids his friends and relations, becomes counter-productive and remains in a condition of constant dissatisfaction. That was the emotional angle – a depressed person is hampered on the physical front too because negative thinking releases harmful chemicals into the body. Additionally, a depressed person suffers from fatigue and keeps falsely thinking that he is affected by various diseases.

Depression has to be recognized and rebuffed as quickly as possible. The first thing that a depressed man may do is to reach out for anti-depressant pills, which give a temporary relief from depression. However, depression normally stems out of a negative thought process and the best way to battle it is positive thought. Yes, a depressed person needs to start thinking positively to ward off depression, and one of the greatest factors that can usher in positive thought is the feeling of gratitude.

Gratitude, or thankfulness, is an appreciation of a benefit received. Expressing gratitude makes one feel good and also tanks him up with positive vibes, and he begins to feel upbeat and full of encouraging energy. The body will be energized and actually healthier. The big question, however, is what to be grateful for and to whom to express our thanks.

Well, the answer to that question lies inside any one of us. If we take a look at our own lives, we will find innumerable instances that we can be grateful for. For instance:

We can thank the lord for giving us a good night’s rest, for a great sunny day and for the birds chirping in our backyard. If we have friends to fall back on, we must thank them for just being there for us. Thank life for not leaving you alone, high and dry!

These were just a few instances – however, you will find many more reasons to feel thankful towards Nature and towards your family/friends once you start meditating on your life. So, go right ahead and do that, and when you discover the little things that add that sparkle to your existence, humbly express your gratitude to them.

The positive attitude you express will promote positive thinking, which in turn will drive away the darkness that depression has created in mind. Gratitude will drive away the fears planted by depression and sprinkle your mind with good cheer, and once you are cheerful, the world will be wonderful. Forever.

To Do:

1) Make a list of 10 things that you are thankful for “right now”.

2) Put up a sign reminding you to make another list every day.

3) Add to your list during the day every time you start having any negative thought.

4) Save your lists in a scrapbook.

5) Read your scrapbook if you are having trouble remembering anything you are thankful for.


BE Well.
The Gratitude Guru


  1. Sharon on August 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I do believe that one should be grateful for the things he/she has, however, when a person is seriously depressed, they are NOT thankful for life, period. Life is painful, full of misery, hurt, and extremely difficult. So, it’s very hard to be grateful for being alive and having ….whatever.. in your life when you don’t want to be living!
    I have forced myself to practice being grateful, etc. and in the long run it just doesn’t work.

    • Paul on August 24, 2013 at 11:38 am

      When a serious condition like depression sets in, gratitude can play a huge part. Unfortunately, as you state, it is difficult to maintain that mindset. Being grateful becomes a chore, it becomes hard, it feels like it is impossible to achieve, nor is it even wanted.

      Gratitude *does* work – I never said it is easy! In sever cases, being grateful just to be alive can be a feeling that an individual does not want to experience. When despair has set in so deeply, professional help is required. And when the time is right, the professional will ultimately bring gratitude into the treatment.

      I hope you did not think that I was suggesting that one should ‘will away’ depression or a person should ignore tragedy in one’s life.

      Thank you for sharing, Sharon.

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