Like me, you’ve probably struggled with depression, sadness, and anxiety. I’m not afraid to admit this since up to 47% of millennial’s have been diagnosed with depression, imagine how many there are who remain undiagnosed. You might have everything you need to be “happy”, your health, a family that loves you, friends, a good home, at least three meals a day, security, freedom, some source of financial income, and a pretty cool smart phone that can tell you anything you want to know. I mean, we have things today that our parents could never have dreamed up, what’s with you anyway? Well, it’s a simple answer. Although social media has done a lot of wonderful things it also has created an unrealistic reality for many. No further than the palm of our hand you can see perfect depictions of other people’s lives at any given moment and decide your life doesn’t measure up. As a result, you feel sad, dissatisfied, and helpless.
Depression has never been so accessible and is no more than an arm length away for us. The truth is everyone is struggling, we just don’t/can’t see that part of their lives because it’s very carefully hidden. IF we did, we might not feel so bad about our own, in fact we might feel very happy with it. But what if I told you there might be an even deeper problem here? What if it’s not so much about how great other people’s lives look and how “pathetic” yours seems? What if the one thing keeping you from true joy, happiness, contentment, and peace is just a matter of implementing a simple exercise into your daily routine? Ok, enough questions! so, what is it? It’s gratitude. Yes, simple, humble, unassuming gratitude. The one thing accessible to all but used by only a select few. The most superior and powerful of all behavioral exercises is the act of choosing to recognize the blessings you have been given and deciding it is sufficient to evoke your contentment and remaining in that state of peace because your heart is full, and there is a deep sense of solid, pure, real goodness that is “enough”. The act of gratitude automatically neutralizes and pulverizes any judgements against your life and resumes your human dignity to prevent you from wanting anyone else. That is powerful.
Being grateful for what you already have is so much LESS exhausting and deceptive than wishing you had what everybody else “seems” to have. “It can’t be that simple!”, you say? I challenge you to pick up a piece of paper and write (not type), using a pen, write out just ten things you’re grateful for, then add WHY you’re grateful for each of those things. This will completely transform your mood. “Well it will only do that for a few minutes” you might think. Yea, probably, that’s why the person who goes to the gym 5 times a week verses the guy who goes once a month gets the six-pack. You get the results and the rewards when you’re determined enough. It’s not about getting lucky with your feelings and waking up one day feeling incredible. The best things in life are free. Like oxygen, working hard and focusing on a goal doesn’t cost you anything other than the decision and commitment to do so. Yea, no PayPal or ApplePay attached, just you, your mind, and how happy you want to become.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18