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Do you ever feel anxious or depressed? Perhaps you sometimes feel so overwhelmed by life that you experience a deep fear. Maybe you have days where you want to hide out under the duvet.

What if you had a simple strategy to beat those dark moments. Imagine if you had a way to manage your own emotional state so that you could stop the anxiety and depression from taking over.

What am I talking about?

Gratitude.

Gratitude is the antidote to depression and anxiety.

I believe it is impossible to be grateful and depressed at the same time. When you are grateful you cannot also be anxious. Gratitude removes fear.

And here’s the best bit. You can start doing this right now. You can practice gratitude anytime you choose to (and watch the darkness float away).

Really Neil? How the hell do you know?

Well, for years I suffered from severe depression. I relied on prescription medication to get me through the day and when that wasn’t cutting it, I would self-medicate with junk food and booze. There were times when the dosage of anti-depressants I was taking was so high that failure to take my tablets on schedule caused physical signs of withdrawal within 30 minutes.

I’ve been clean from prescription medications for a number of years now. Changing my diet and improving my gut health was key (95 percent of the body’s feel good hormone, serotonin, is found in the bowels) and learning to control my emotional state has also been essential in combating my mental health problems.

But what have I got to be grateful for?

If at this point you are wondering what you have to be grateful for then I guarantee there is something. It may be something big (like your children) or it could be something really simple like the fact the sun is shining today. Thing is, there is ALWAYS something. Even if it is just that you are alive today and able to read this blog post.

The daily gratitude habit I encourage all my coaching clients to do

There is a simple gratitude practice I teach to all of my coaching clients. It takes just a few minutes each day and it can be life changing.

I am talking about writing a gratitude journal.

Every night before I go to sleep I write down a minimum of 3 things that I am truly grateful for. Some days I have lots of things to write about. Some days I struggle to find 3 things, but I never go to sleep without finding them.

I also make sure I feel the emotion of gratitude as I think of each thing.

This means I always go to sleep grateful and almost always wake up grateful too.

If fear, anxiety or depression looms during the day, pause and think of something to be grateful for.

Some of my clients write the gratitude journal throughout the day and then read it at night. This works really well too.

So are you ready to start writing your journal?

 

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