It’s that time of year, the January blues, or blahs, when the cold, reduced daylight and post holiday void leaves many people feeling a little empty, drained and, yes, depressed. We all have so much to be grateful for, any combination of friends, family, health, safety, warmth, good food and countless other blessings of this first world we live in.
We are told and it has been scientifically shown that gratitude practiced daily in journal form can improve positivity, mood and well-being significantly. We are told we must feel the gratitude, in our heart and with warmth, for this spark of warmth is what it means to be alive and feeling and human. And this is something I do, daily, faithfully and I am certain it helps…
Full disclosure, I am challenged with changing moods. When my energy is high, I am fully alive with a vitality and love I want to share with others, and help as many people as possible. When my energy is lower, like now, it is tougher to feel this way. Intellectually, I become diminished and have difficulty feeling worthy. I am cognitive of and grateful for much, yet I can’t feel it in my heart at the present moment.
One of my sports coaches told me when I felt I couldn’t do something, he would say, yes you can, but not at the present moment. Because moods fluctuate, I know this will pass and I will return to my higher energy self.
In the meantime, I will practice my gratitudes, even though I can’t feel them or their warmth in my heart, because I know this will change and my thinking will return to a more vital and productive state. Even the positive psychologists have shown that faking gratitude is still beneficial to your mood and your health. I do believe this…. That we are all exactly where we need to be. Fake it until you make it and in the interim your life will continue to unfold just as it’s meant to.
With love, Dr. Steve