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With the holiday season upon us, I began to think about what I am thankful for. With fear and anger rampant in the hearts and minds of many post-election, taking time to be grateful feels like a needed respite. As research shows, thinking about what we are grateful for can have many positive effects including decreased depression and being more likely to help others. I make a list of five things I am grateful for each night and even though the research shows that it lessens depression (not anxiety), I have the positive benefit of decreased anxious thoughts when I lay down to go to sleep. So here is my list for today:

  1. I am grateful for my health and the health of my family and friends. After coping with health problems and deaths of those close to me in 2015, I am especially grateful for health in 2016.
  2. I am grateful for the love and support of the people in my life. Without them, my days would be less enjoyable and more challenging.
  3. I am grateful for the times that I am able to practice mindfulness, to take in all that life has to offer. Some of my favorites this week: hearing my daughter laugh, seeing the beautiful fall leaves, and tasting delicious food.
  4. I am grateful for my career and the work that I do. I love guiding others to find meaning in their lives, even when negative thoughts and emotions show up. It’s one of the things that makes my life feel meaningful.
  5. I am grateful for my clients. You choose to do the sometimes hard work of therapy in order to reach your goals and live a valued life and you trust me to join you on that journey.

Wishing you a happy holiday season filled with serenity and gratitude!