Too Blessed To Be Depressed

I noticed a car in a parking lot the other day with "Too Blessed To Be Depressed" written on the front license plate. I initially had a negative reaction, thinking that even people who are perceived as blessed by our society (those with money, supportive families and opportunities) can experience depression.

However, the essence of this phrase is optimism and gratitude- which can work wonders for depression.

Although depression is a biochemical disorder that can be helped with medication, cognitive behavioral therapy has also been shown to help relieve symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on how our thoughts impact our feelings and consequently our behaviors. According to CBT, replacing negative thoughts with more positive ones can help us feel happier and behave in healthier ways. But sometimes focusing on the positive and being grateful is easier said than done!

So how do we focus more on being blessed and less on being depressed?

One idea that I love, is this daily gratitude dry erase picture frame for your home or office:



This was made from a dollar-store picture frame, with a print out inserted. It says "Today is wonderful because". Since the frame surface is glass, you can write on it with a dry erase marker. I have this in my home, near the front door in a room that gets a lot of use. This particular day was wonderful because my husband and I had gone to a flea market and bought a watermelon!

Having this in a spot where I see it often helps remind me to think of all the positive things I experience. It also helps me get excited and motivated for the future- if I know I will be able to write something wonderful on my board, I'm more likely to seek out and plan for wonderful things! Journaling what you are grateful for in a private diary can also help shift your thoughts to a more positive realm, without putting it on the wall for all to see.

What are you grateful for today? What will make your day wonderful? What will you do in order to make your day wonderful? If you find ways to notice how you are blessed, you may find you are less depressed.

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