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The Power of Practicing Gratitude to Reduce Anxiety & Depression

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The holiday season can be a wonderful time filled with joy, warmth, and love. However, for some, it can also bring feelings of anxiety, depression, or the winter blues.

If you find yourself struggling with any of these emotions, practicing gratitude can be a powerful tool to help improve your mental health.

Research has found that expressing gratitude can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression by improving mood and emotions.

A study conducted by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley found that people who wrote letters expressing gratitude experienced increased happiness and decreased symptoms of depression, compared to those who wrote letters about negative experiences or felt neutral.

Another study found that writing down three things that you are grateful for each day can improve overall well-being and decrease symptoms of depression.

At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we understand how important it is for teenagers to have healthy coping mechanisms to manage teen anxiety and teen depression. That's why we recommend practicing gratitude as a method for improving mental health.

The "How" of Practicing Gratitude: 7 Tips for Parents, Teens, & Young Adults

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We want to help jumpstart your practice of gratitude. Here we provide seven tips for practicing gratitude:

1. Keep a gratitude journal

Keeping a gratitude journal is a simple and effective way to practice gratitude. Take a few minutes each day to write down three things that you are grateful for.

This can be something as small as the beautiful sunset you saw on your way home from school or something more significant, like a supportive friend or a loving family member.

2. Use gratitude prompts

If you're having trouble thinking of things to be grateful for, try using gratitude prompts. This can be a list of questions or statements that help guide your thoughts towards gratitude.

For example, "What made me smile today?" or "I am thankful for my health because..."

3. Practice gratitude meditation

Gratitude meditation involves focusing on the things that you are grateful for while practicing mindfulness. A simple gratitude meditation can be done by sitting in a quiet place, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breath. As you inhale and exhale, think of something that you are grateful for.

4. Express gratitude to others

Expressing gratitude to others can be a powerful way to improve your mood and strengthen relationships. Take a few minutes each day to write a thank you note, call a friend or family member to express your appreciation, or simply say "thank you" to someone who has helped you.

5. Focus on the present moment

Practicing mindfulness and focusing on the present moment can help you appreciate the good things in your life. Take a few minutes each day to stop and appreciate the beauty around you, whether it's a colorful tree or the sound of birds singing.

6. Volunteer or donate to others

Helping others can be a powerful way to show gratitude for the blessings in your life. Volunteer at a local charity or donate to a cause that is important to you. Helping others can also boost your own happiness and well-being.

7. Practice self-compassion

Being kind to yourself and practicing self-compassion can help you appreciate your own strengths and abilities. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on your own accomplishments and things that you are proud of.

Treat yourself with kindness, and remember that it's okay to make mistakes or have setbacks.

Wrapping it Up

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Practicing gratitude may not cure teen anxiety, teen depression or the winter blues, but it can definitely help manage these conditions.

It's important to remember that seeking professional help from counselor who specialize in teen counseling like at Katy Teen & Family Counseling can be very helpful in overcoming anxiety and depression, but harnessing the power of gratitude can be a valuable and uplifting addition to your mental health wellness regime.

Practicing gratitude is a simple but powerful tool for improving mental health. Research has shown that expressing gratitude can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression by improving mood and emotions.

By keeping a gratitude journal, using gratitude prompts, practicing gratitude meditation, expressing gratitude to others, focusing on the present moment, volunteering or donating to others, and practicing self-compassion, you can start incorporating gratitude into your daily life and experience improved mental well-being.

Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Specialists in Teen Therapy & Young Adult Counseling in Katy, TX & Houston

While teen depression and teen anxiety are on the rise, there are strategies to combat these defeating challenges. Practicing gratitude is but one of many skills a teen or young adult can use to help improve mood and emotion.

We also have our Sugar Land location. Sugar Land Teen & Family Counseling is located in Sugar Land, TX. We are conveniently located off of US 90 and Dairy Ashford Road.

At our Katy, TX location, we have 70+ years of combined experience. If you are ready to meet with one of our teen counselors or young adult therapists, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:

  1. Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling

  2. Talk with one of our caring therapists

  3. Begin the healing process today!

Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling

At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we provide a variety of therapy approaches that are supported by research and shown to be effective. Some of the teen therapy and young adult counseling we offer are:

Board Certified Neurofeedback Therapy

Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)

Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)

Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)

Group Therapy for Teens

Body Image

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling

Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling can be very effective. The secret ingredient to success is each person willing to look at themselves and work to do things differently, together. When a marriage counselor or couples therapist has this to work with, the success rate can be very high.

Sometimes life will throw challenges at us that create situations that put strain on our marriage or relationship. It may be due to:

  • Choices and actions that have been made by one partner.

  • Financial downturn in the economy creating financial strain.

  • Feeling like you're growing apart.

  • Feeling like you don't have as much in common as you used to.

Whatever the reason may be, marriage counseling and couples therapy can help. Couples therapy and marriage counseling has also been found to work in less time than individual therapy.

If you've worked hard for this relationship and find that there are now barriers in the way of maintaining a healthy relationship, contact us at Katy Teen & Family Counseling.

About the Author

A man sitting at a desk with a pink, short sleeved polo shirt on, waring glasses, a silver watch, he has a beard and is smiling.  Providing counselors specializing in trauma katy, tx and ptsd counseling katy texas. Also providing social anxiety treatment katy, tx and neurofeedback for ptsd houston, texas.

Jason Drake is a Licensed Clinical Worker - Supervisor (LCSW-S), Board Certified in Neurofeedback, EMDR trained, and a Certified Brain Health Professional through the Amen Clinics. He has provided therapy to teens, young adults, and families since 2003 and is the Owner & Lead Clinician at Katy Teen & Family Counseling and Katy Counseling for Men.

He specializes in leading teams of high performing therapists who also specialize in teen therapy, counseling young adults, and family counseling.

Jason is also a leader in the field of teen, young adult, and family counseling providing expert coaching and technical assistance to teen Residential Treatment Centers across the country.

Jason is also a regular contributor to various magazines and publications lending his expertise to various mental health related topics. You can check these articles out on our "Featured Articles" service page on our website.

He has also been a guest on Fox 26 Houston and on a podcast, "Grow a Group Practice" with Alison Pidgeon.

If you are ready to start teen counseling or young adult therapy call, text, or email us today!

Phone Number: 281-519-6364

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