Appreciation is frequently connected with the historic holiday of Thanksgiving, but we must practice thankfulness all year. However, practicing gratitude while suffering from depression might be challenging. Depression makes us feel helpless and unhappy. When we are depressed, it might be difficult to get out of bed in the morning, let alone count our blessings. While depression is a difficult condition, it is still possible to cultivate gratitude.
Thankfulness and Depression
I’ve fought with depression since I was a young adolescent. Although I was not diagnosed with depression until I was an adult, I am aware that I have battled depression for roughly twelve years, which means I have battled depression for twelve seasons of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Depression typically causes us to assume the worst-case situations will occur to us, making us feel rather pessimistic about the future. Because those of us who suffer from depression frequently find it difficult to be thankful, much alone feel anything, practicing thanksgiving can be difficult. Depression, in my experience, has made me feel utterly numb. I typically feel nothing instead of being pleased, thrilled, or tranquil. Perhaps you have felt this way in your own fights with depression. It might be difficult to be appreciative when we are too unhappy, hopeless, or numb.
But don’t despair! Depression should not be addressed as if it were a sin since it is not. Depression is a mood illness that can be improved and treated via counseling and medication. Do not feel guilty if you are suffering from depression. It is not your fault if you are depressed. Similarly, if you know someone who is depressed, don’t make them feel bad about themselves or make them feel guilty about their mental condition.
If you are currently suffering from depression, you understand how tough it may be to practice gratitude. It may appear like there is nothing to be thankful for. Let me start by saying that your emotions are perfectly understandable. I know firsthand how hopeless sadness can make you feel. I didn’t want to get out of bed during my most difficult depression season because I felt there was nothing to live for—my home life was difficult, I was in the early stages of anorexia recovery while living with someone who actively adhered to anorexia, and I was drowning under the pressures of work and seminary. I say this to reassure you that you are not alone. Despite our circumstances, we may be thankful even when we are depressed.
List of Thanks
Making a thankful list might help us practice thankfulness while dealing with sadness. My therapist had me make a gratitude list during my worst days of melancholy. I had to write down everything I was grateful for on this list. My therapist suggested that I begin by being glad for the oxygen in my lungs, being thankful for a new day, and being thankful for food and drink. While they may not appear to be huge reasons for many people to be thanks, they are actual benefits. The oxygen in our lungs each morning is only because of Christ, as is the new day, and our food and water are only because of Christ.
After I finished listing little items, my therapist instructed me to move on to more serious matters, such as being appreciative for my family, friends, and pets. Above all, I began to realize how many things I had to be glad for. Looking up, we may all be thanks to God. He is the Giver of All Things, and through His Son, He has given us eternal life. We only exist because of God, and we can only have eternal life through trusting in His Son, who died for our sins, was buried, and rose again.
God loves us, and for that we may be exceedingly grateful. We may be thankful because God loves us. Even though we are not thankful for our current circumstances, we may be glad for God. He never abandons us and vows to love us forever. Because He made us, God loved us before we were born (Psalm 139:13-16). God understands our hearts even at our darkest circumstances, and He still loves us. We might be grateful that God loves us at all times.
Being grateful when suffering from depression is difficult—I understand, and my heart goes out to you. Choosing to remain thankful in the midst of despair demonstrates real Christian character. Being appreciative in the midst of adversity demonstrates significant Christian maturity. When you are actively being appreciative during the dark days of your melancholy, be proud of yourself. I know it’s difficult, but you’re very brave for deliberately choosing to be appreciative.
Depression leads us to believe that everything is hopeless, but being appreciative reminds us that there is still hope. Even if we can’t see them right now, there are so many things to be thankful for. There will be more brightness in the future, and the black cloud will lift from your heart and thoughts. It may take time, and the despair may return, but brighter days are ahead. No matter how down you are right now, remember that there is hope ahead and that God will continue to walk with you through the good and bad (Psalm 23).
Praise the Lord – Can Someone Be Happy And Depressed At The Same Time ?
While facing sadness, you may also exercise appreciation by singing praises to God. God wants to hear your voice, even if you don’t believe you’re the finest singer. Raise your voice in adoration to His Name. In my personal experience, merely singing a song makes me feel a million times more grateful, even when I’m through a period of despair. Singing God’s praises cultivates a grateful heart inside us.
We can be appreciative without breaking out in a smile. When we practice thanksgiving, we frequently experience tears in our eyes. In my experience, when I feel grateful, I tend to cry rather than grin. Every time I hear a worship hymn about Christ’s love and goodness, I cry. Knowing that Christ loves me even though I don’t deserve it fills me with gratitude. Perhaps you have had a similar experience.
We often associate thanksgiving with happiness, laughing, and smiles, but this is not always the case. It’s acceptable if this is how you express your gratitude. It is normal in depression to express oneself via tears rather than a joyous mood. Nobody expects you to manufacture a grin for a photograph or to go through the day with a phony demeanor. True loved ones would never compel you to lie.
If you need help practicing thanksgiving while dealing with depression, pray to the Lord, compose a thankful list, and sing praises to Him with all your heart. Each of these items will assist you in practicing thankfulness while dealing with sadness. Even though it might be difficult to cultivate gratitude when suffering from terrible despair, it is absolutely achievable. Take it one step at a time, day by day. It is OK to make mistakes from time to time. Allow yourself grace and try again. The Lord is pleased that you are attempting to practice appreciation while dealing with depression.