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Can gratitude help you deal with low mood?

When negative thoughts start taking over your mind, the last thing you want to think about is gratitude. What is there to be thankful for when so much seems to be going wrong?

Actually, the answer is much more than you’d think. Practicing gratitude can be an effective way to cope with depression and low mood.

Thank you neon sign on a wall

Read on to learn about the benefits of practicing gratitude against depression, and how to include it in your daily routine.

The benefits of gratitude in times of low mood

Even when everything feels dark, focusing on the things you’re grateful for, no matter how small, can help put things in perspective. By noticing and reflecting on what you feel thankful for, you’re helping your brain focus on the positive.

It’s not about denying your negative thoughts and feelings. It’s about reminding yourself that there is positivity in your life to counterbalance it. And there’s scientific evidence behind it. A study by psychologist Alex Wood suggests that gratitude can reduce both the duration and frequency of depressive episodes.

In a series of studies led by Robert Emmons, people practicing gratitude consistently have reported a variety of physical and psychological benefits including:

  • Feeling more positive overall