Being mentally unstable is no fun at all. Depression isn’t fun either and I hate it.
That feeling of anger, hopelessness, bitterness and much lying around the couch struggling and fighting with yourself doesn’t seem to stop.
Waking up you, it seems like you had a train in your brain; with different coaches of sad feelings, anger and negative thoughts. You can hardly sleep; you can hardly think or shun those thoughts.
How did I know? My mum struggled with depression.
I come from a not-so-big family; just my mum, sister, and dad (who’s never always at home) and of course me. I was always very close to home and to my mum. The aftermath of my mum’s failed marriage and the emotional abuse she endured, deteriorated her mental health. I was left to take care of her and I was Ok. I made sure she was never alone, and if I wasn’t at home, I made sure I call often to check on her.
At a point, she almost gave up on life. But fortunately, she didn’t.
It kills me seeing her die gradually and not living her life. Inside of me, I’ll pray to God to give her reason to want to live her life.
Just during our usual dinner moments, I allowed her to say one or two things that happened while I wasn’t at home.
Eventually, we started practicing it even when she didn’t feel like and she has been following this simple habit nearly every day for two years. I can see her smile more often, she now wants to be more engaged with house chores, and she’s less tempered and full of life and her depression faded off. I’m Grateful.
The habit is super simple. Here it is…
When we sit down to eat dinner, she’d say one thing that she’s grateful for happening within the day.
At first, it was a bit of struggle for her so I said my first. She would look at me and not say a word, the next day she would make an attempt and still not say what I can make meaning of. After a few days, she became more comfortable to talk; and ever since she became happier.
Ok now let’s talk about why this gratitude habit is very effective.
Practicing this gratitude habit for two years with her, here’s are biggest lessons learned and how it has helped her heal and can help you too.
1.No More Sympathy Game
Gratitude has taught her Empathy to others; she’s no longer making her problem a center for attention even though it’s hard to have self-control or be strong when you feel miserable.
2. You See a Different Picture
Practicing gratitude triggers you to see the good in every annoying or frustrating moment in life. It keeps your brain alert to good things and finding it. And trust me; it’ll be hard to be depressed when there are so many good things around you to feed your mind on.
3. You Get Over with the Victim Mentality
It’s often easy to develop the ‘I AM A VICTIM’ mentality. But gratitude teaches you that you’re not a victim but the undeserving recipient of so much grace and beauty.
Why Gratitude Works
It structures and shifts your mind into a positive frame and directions before the end of the day. The truth is that we all have some bad days and frustrating moments, myself included. But no matter what happens each day, when you sit down for a minute you’ll be forced to think of the good part in that frustrating moment.
You’ll be positively energized and in the right frame of mind for other life’s good opportunities.
When you practice it just for a day, you might not see the impact at once because the single impact of any one piece of gratitude is small, but the cumulative impact has a huge effect in your life and overall mental health.
Just like in avalanche multiplications, you begin to feel the effect and power of this habit after practicing it for at least a month or two. You begin to find out every day is becoming good just by being grateful (at least in your ways).
But first, you have to decide, accept, and believe before it can work for you.
After a while, you start to understand that your day-to-day happiness isn’t derived from monetary things around you but it’s derived from being grateful.
Gratitude our key and a fantastic mood changer.
A lot of people talk about gratitude, but rarely do they practice it. It’s sort of like telling someone to “live in the moment.” It’s easy advice to give, but you’ll rarely hear people explain how they actually live in the moment.
When someone practices gratitude, what do they actually do each day that separates them from most people? They identify and recognize the gift within the gift of every given moment in their life and see it as an opportunity, hope, and breakthrough.
It doesn’t cost a dime to be grateful nor should your most grateful moments cost a penny.
Sometimes, it could from the time spent with friends and family, something nice someone said a good workout that day or a moment you had with your pet.
It doesn’t mean money is irrelevant or not, but there’s something more calming in realizing that the moments you’re actually grateful for everyday are free.
This is a habit, you can easily practice because it requires a small effort, not like your regular self-care routine or any other healthy routine you have up your sleeve to keep fit.
To get more stuck with practicing gratitude or living a more grateful life; try to tie it down with another behavior you can’t do without. That’s why I practice this gratitude habit with my mum whenever we want to eat dinner at night. Because it’s so much easy to build and stick to a new habit when you have the right trigger to motivate and get you stuck with it.
I know there’s a lot to learn but I’m convinced that this daily gratitude habit I practice with my mum has made a huge difference for her long-term happiness. She has been able to live out gratitude on a daily basis without a struggle.