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Being thankful for what we have is so important to a healthy perspective on life. When we spend our time focusing on what we do not have, we can become bitter and negative. I see it in many of the teenage girls that I counsel as well as in many adults I work with in counseling. They are angry and sad because they do not have some particular thing or things in their lives. But they neglect to realize what they do have! When we focus our energy and thoughts on what we do have in our lives, we feel more grateful, hopeful and energized. This has all sorts of positive impact on our mental health. We tend to feel stress less, have less anxiety and less depression also. When we let negative thoughts rule our minds, we have more negative feelings in our lives. This often can stunt our healthy relationships and slow our progress towards achieving goals. Try making a list each day of at least 3 things you are thankful for; try this every day for one week and see what kind of impact it has on you! If you find it hard to begin listing things for which you are thankful, and find yourself more focused on the negative in your life, consider counseling. It can be such a beneficial step towards helping you feel less stress, anxiety and depression!

Being Thankful

Thanksgiving is a great reminder to take time out and count our blessings. There are many positive things in our lives we easily and often overlook. This holiday season is a good time to slow down and take the time to think of things in our lives for which we can be thankful. Often times when I'm working with clients who are experiencing depression or anxiety, I encourage them during the course of their counseling to keep a gratitude journal; keep a list daily or weekly of things which they are thankful. This helps us to realize that we do have positive things in our lives and takes the focus off the negativity or fear. The more positive things we are filling our minds with, the less negativity can rule our thought life. This practice can help improve your mood and decrease your anxiety. Take time out this week to consciously think of things in your life you can give thanks for; make a list and share some of them with the loved ones you are with for Thanksgiving. You could make that a family tradition: to share things you each are thankful for during the Thanksgiving meal! Happy Thanksgiving!

Gratitude Improves Mood!

Thanksgiving is this week and is a good reminder to focus on being thankful for all we have! Gratitude helps improve our mood in so many ways. It takes the focus off where we aren't, what we don't have and puts it on where we are and what we do have! This greatly boosts mood and can decrease stress and anxiety too! When all we think about is what we are lacking or where we wish we were, we are dissatisfied with life and sad or angry. But when we shift our focus to the positive things about the place we are and the good things we do have, we have a more healthy perspective and our mood improves. In addition, stress and anxiety often decrease. Try making a list this week of all the things you are thankful for, all the things you do have and the things that are good about the place you are in right now. Be specific, think of small things too! For example, do you have a place to lay down at night that is safe and warm? Some people do not. Do you have clothes to wear and food to eat and a way to get from point A to point B? Many people don't. We tend to take things for granted and we need to remind ourselves that we have quite a bit! The fact that I can walk, talk, see and hear are great blessings that I often take for granted. It's good to get in the habit of being thankful for the things and abilities you do have as well as the opportunities available to you; this helps you get outside of your current situations or problems and remember that there is so much to be grateful for in your life! Happy Thanksgiving!