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Gratefulness helps

When things are going bad, it is easy to get caught up in a negative mindset. I’ve been there so many times. Depression encroaches and all I can see is the darkness. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, it’s just the tunnel. Long and dark. Not only do I not see the light, but I ruminate on the darkness. I am here to warn you of the danger of this kind of thinking. This is what can lead to suicidality- feeling like there is nothing good, no light. It does feel hopeless. What reason is there to live if there is nothing good in your life? For many of us, these feelings of depression are physiological. That does not mean there is nothing we can do about them.

If someone had told me how much gratefulness would help my depression, I would have laughed in their face, but it does help. Getting your mind on things that bring you joy through gratefulness is almost like resetting the dial. Not only does gratefulness reset the dial in our brain that might be wired to think and rethink on the negative, but it also starts to attract more of the good to us. Don’t believe me yet? Try it. Every day for one week, write down 3 to 5 things that you are grateful for. Notice how you feel before you do it and notice how you feel afterward. Take note of these feelings and see how they change over the course of a week. My guess is, as the week progresses, you will begin to notice more and more things that you can be grateful for. Are these things actually coming to you more now that you have started naming them or were they there all along unnoticed? Only God knows. But this is something that I go back to when I just cannot get out of a rut. I also have a regular practice that I do every Sunday: I write in my journal all that I am grateful for. I write down every little thing that I can think of. It helps me to keep my mind on the joyful stuff. Here are some of the things that I am most grateful for, in no particular order. Feel free to steal from me!

1.       My niece’s laughter.
2.       Music. All of it, but particularly jazz and R&B that get me through so many tough times.
3.       My parents- their love, guidance, and direction.
4.       Autumn- the colors, the flavors (Pumpkin Spice Everything!), Halloween, the coolness.
5.       My education.
6.       Morning time- it is the best time of the day for me. Nights can feel so hard and long, but every morning is a reminder of having new opportunity every day to truly live.
7.       Colorado- my home.
8.       My siblings- our fights, our love toward eachother.
9.       Rain- the refreshing newness of every down pour.
10.   Writing. 

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As always with love,
Alli B
Sonny B
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Alli B is the voice behind She is a self-defined weird (queer) black woman who is a survivor of mental illness and childhood sexual trauma. She is a lover of people and a lover of God. Alli’s mission in life is to empower and inspire those who have gone through or who are going through any type of darkness. Her loves are her family, books, writing, movies, and football (Go Broncos!). The boring stuff: Alli received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies at Colorado State University in 2013. She is now working on her Master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and is expected to graduate in May of 2018. Alli's goal is to work with underserved populations of women and children through private practice. Her life goals include: running a successful blog, publishing her books, and becoming a successful therapist.

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