Why I Learned To Be Grateful.


Gratitude is something that you often read about being useful when dealing with mental health problems. However, the negative thinking that can overwhelm your thoughts when you are dealing with depression or a similar condition means it can be difficult to even consider being grateful for your circumstances. I know, I have been there. When life seems so hard to get through the day, it appears that there is nothing that you can be grateful for and the thought of looking for things may be a bleak one.


It can be done though, I have done it and successfully managed to change my thought patterns into more positive ones, purely by focusing upon the things I am grateful for rather than dwelling on the things I resent. When I suffer with depression it is easy for me to lose perspective, to allow myself to think only of the negative and never of the positive. I have learned to change this and I believe that it can be beneficial for everyone, not only those with a mental health issues, to allow their mind to appreciate the things that they have, mean something to them and are pleased to have in their life.


Perspective is a strange thing, it is something that is easily lost and something it can be hard to regain. Your mind can warp certain events, meetings or situations into a negatively skewed thing to cause anxiety or stress. Gratitude is a way of regaining lost perspective and focussing the mind on adapting how it thinks about situations.


Why Did I Start To Become Grateful?

I had decided to change, I decided to start appreciating myself and the things around me and realise that although not everything is perfect. I had come a long way. I had come far enough to start realising that I must be doing something right, despite my internal narrative of self loathing that had kept me down for longer than I can remember.


Writing is the perfect way to express and reflect upon reasons to be grateful. I decided to start by looking around my house and listing the things that I didn't have a year ago, that I have now and have improved my life. The shocking part of this was there were so many things surrounding me that I had managed to fill my home with, even when I was seemingly ineffective within my own mind. This small act managed to completely shift my perspective and from that moment on I was able to recognise why it is important to be grateful.


Each week I write to myself about things that have happened I am grateful for, conversations that made me happy and things I have achieved that I am proud of. Learning to be grateful has helped me improve my self worth and also helped me break free from a suffocating internal narrative of negativity. I also use gratitude if I cannot sleep, I start to list people, things and places I am grateful for in my head and it soon allows me to fall asleep, with a sense of safety and calm.

If you want to start appreciating the positive things that surround you and reflecting upon life in a different way, you can use Cathartic to help you do so. You can write about anything in total anonymity, without fear of stigmas, shame or judgement. It is the perfect place to allow you to reflect in a more positive way and hopefully that reflection will be the start of a new way of thinking and a different perspective on life.