Gratitude. It is scientifically proven to make you happier! I have mentioned several times that I follow a self care list in attempt to keep my depression at bay, but pretty much everything on my list is useful for every human being. I write in a gratitude journal everyday (well, nearly everyday, I miss if I get out of a routine…) and one of the best parts of gratefulness for me is it makes me more mindful & present of the simple things in life & makes what I have enough (although I have a ton) . I have my warm cup of coffee in morning and I do not just suck it down for caffeine (although caffeine is part of it) I love the warmth, the taste etc… I love sitting on my patio with a glass of crisp rosé and enjoy every sip. I do not like rain, but I love when the storms hit and make all my wind chimes chime. Gratitude does not have to be these huge events- it is awesome to get a job promotion and be grateful, but that is not an everyday thing. Acts of kindness can be as simple as when Nick makes me a cup of coffee he puts an ice cube in it so I can drink it right away- coffee aficionados, sorry, I have three kids and want my coffee, lol.
Despite writing everyday, I get stumped, especially when my depression is the main driver of my brain. Depression makes it extremely difficult to get out of a loop of negative and catastrophic thinking. The gratitude prompts are so helpful and you simply print the gratitude prompts out and keep it in your journal or notebook. The gratitude prompts help me see some of the positive and after any crappy day, you can look at the prompts and write three things down to be grateful for. I recently listened to Dr. Laurie Santos on Armchair Expert (Yale professor who literally teaches how to be happy and doctor of cognitive psychologist) says it is scientifically proven that gratitude creates more resilience and we can hack our brains to think positive by writing three gratitude things a day.
This post is part of spreading awareness during May- Mental Awareness Month, I hope it helps you with some tips of how to support people with depression from my personal experiences with living with depression and PTSD. I am sure the list is helpful for other mental illnesses, however I do not have those experiences. For a roundup of all my mental health posts, you can check it out here. I also share more info on Instagram stories the entire month.
Also, If you are having suicidal thoughts OR think your friend is please call 1-800-273-8255- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Suicidal thoughts need to be taken seriously, they are not attention seeking