The season of gratitude can be difficult for those who feel they have little to be thankful for. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, 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 the 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:
1. 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.
2. 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, but paying it forward leaves less time for you to dwell in your personal sorrows.
3. 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