While I was a therapist at a local community mental health center, I often encountered clients who were very depressed. I sometimes encouraged the use of journaling as a way for individuals to go back and see what their thought processes were and how their moods changed over time.
I asked folks to make a list of all the things for which they were thankful. I was often met with a stare and, “I can’t think of anything.” I gave them the assignment of making a list of twenty-five things and to bring the list with them the next time we met.
To get started, I gave them a piece of paper and a pencil and we worked on it together.
I stressed that the ease with which we made a list of twenty-five things to illustrate their ability to find something to be thankful for did not lessen the seriousness of their feelings. Depression is real, and can be very serious. But sometimes taking a decision to find something, anything, to be thankful for can help.
I’m thankful for sunlight.