The season of gratitude can be difficult for those who feel they have little to be thankful for. As we approach Thanksgiving and the end of our Drop The Mask series those suffering from frequent episodes of depressed mood and anxiety may find it difficult to have an attitude of gratitude. The spirit of Thanksgiving is rooted in celebration of personal good fortune, but if you do not feel fortunate, symptoms of Depression can develop or worsen. Here are three ways to give thanks when you are not feeling especially thankful:
- Look Beyond Yourself: Take a moment to survey the people around you. This includes family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances. Who did something kind or considerate for you during the year? What about the service providers in your life? Doctors, nurses, counselors, teachers, brokers, etc. often provide information and resources that have benefits both personally and financially. When searching for reasons to be thankful, expand your frame of reference to include various types of people and relationships.
- Look Around Your Community: Identify opportunities to contribute, volunteer, and serve your community. While it may be difficult to find reasons for gratitude in your own life, identifying ways to be supportive of others is quite easy this time of year. Not only can service put your difficulties into a greater context, paying it forward leaves less time for you to dwell in your personal sorrows.
- Take Another Look at Yourself: If you have been through difficult situations this year, give yourself credit for facing each day the very best way you know how. Identify your sources of strength and motivation thus far and find a way to reward yourself however you see fit!
Holidays often trigger powerful memories that, at times, can be hurtful and sad. Having friends and family close can help reduce feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, anger, irritability and/or self-loathing. If you are having difficulty regulating your moods, I encourage you to visit our website at www.BrooklynMFT.com to learn more about our professional counseling services designed to help you successfully navigate this festive season!