Do you focus more on what’s wrong with a person, or do you look for things to compliment and appreciate?
Turns out that if you tend to be critical, the person you are hurting most is you.
According to this article by Ocean Robbins, several studies have shown depression to be inversely correlated to gratitude, meaning that the more grateful a person is, the less depressed they are.
Robbins cites Philip Watkins, a clinical psychologist at Eastern Washington University, who found that clinically depressed people showed significantly lower gratitude (nearly 50 percent less) than non-depressed controls.
As someone who suffered from a lot of depression in the past, I can attest that this was true for me. During those dark times, it felt like all of my focus was on what was wrong with my life.
During those times, I think I would have argued that my life was less than perfect first and this caused the depression. But looking at it from where I am now, it’s clear to me that spending too much time on the problems in my life resulted in depression.
Slowly but consistently shifting your focus to the things in your life for which you can be truly grateful is powerful medicine. Not just for depression but for overall wellness and wellbeing.
Today is day six of my gratitude challenge and the assignment is to take a few minutes to call someone I haven’t talked to in a while and tell them how much I appreciate them.
While I hope to uplift the person I am going to call, the person who will benefit the most is me.
What are the things that you appreciate about the people in your life? Focus on those things, and share your appreciation with them.The result is you both benefit.
Together we can do it!