To understand the recovery process of gratitude, we need to define the feeling that comes from gratitude.
The recovery process with gratitude becomes vital when someone is in the depths of depression it becomes a challenging journey to cross the rivers of sadness, frustration, and anger all feelings that accompany depression.
Everything in life and creation is constantly changing and moving, but for someone suffering from depression, it all appears to be moving too fast and in the wrong direction.
In fact, when depression levels are high the patient reports feeling immobilized and not interested in doing anything or going anywhere. Feeling grateful is extremely difficult when a patient reports feeling stuck in a victim role due to depression symptomatology.
What is Depression?
Depression is an extremely complex disease and is in most cases co-morbid in nature. Some will experience depression during an ongoing serious medical illness.
There is the depression that comes with serious mental illness and during life changes such as a move or the death of a loved one. Others have a family history of depression and discover it when feelings of being overwhelmed all the time with sadness and loneliness for no “known” reason.
Gratitude will appear when we are doing things we love and when we can find a deeper purpose and meaning in our life.
This meaningful way is a purposeful path which will add value to our life. The feeling of gratitude is love and joy which results in being “content” in all things.
Great works of art and poetry have come out of deep states of depression. Depression may come along to remind us to look at our authentic self. It is easier to run from our problems than to address them at times.
However, they will internalize for a while before they show up again to haunt us. There are great testimonies shared when someone overcomes something in life which was challenging but made them stronger. Talking to someone about a personal life experience is cathartic in itself. It takes courage to share things with a counselor. Therefore, it is the first testimony.
A true “warrior” and “Overcomer” is someone who can rise out of the dark hole of depression and release the resistance to emotional and physical pain.
When hope is recognized, the patient will begin to come out of the victim role into the survivor role and clearly, see what they have to be grateful for in life.
“Gratitude is the mindfulness of taking nothing for granted.”
Sometimes gratitude will appear when we least expect it; at other times we choose to invoke it. For patients who are willing to do a gratitude journal, it is a great tool to help them get unstuck from a place of victimhood to a place of giving and resilience.
There are also phone apps that have reminders of expressing gratitude. One of these is called “bliss, ” and it asks the question, “I am grateful for _______ because ______.”
Gratitude is the mindfulness of taking nothing for granted.
Consider the “whole person” approach and assessment there is no separation between:
Treating the “whole person” begins with assessment and the realization that everything works together to heal physical and mental illness. The brief list of the process is listed below and exhibits presenting issues, and the connection between them:
- Presenting strong emotional issues will almost always have an effect on our physical body. Discover and heal the core emotional issue, and you may address and heal the physical ailment.
- A mental block can be traced back to an emotional issue. Free the mental block, and you may address and heal the emotional issue.
- The Intuitive (psychological) error causes mental blocks. Release and heal the intuitive error, and the mental block is dissolved.
- With a spiritual disconnection, there is always confusion, and intuitive error follows. Reconnect with faith and gratitude, therefore, heal the spiritual disconnection by connecting with Spirit of the Divine Source, and there can be no intuitive error (McFeature, 2009).
The Recovery Process with Gratitude
Healing and managing depression takes place in an integrative, holistic approach for a multidimensional being.
Research conducted by Robinson, Wischman & Del Vento (1996) indicates that integrative care approaches produce superior clinical outcomes for treating both depression and anxiety stricken patients.
The HeartPath assessment and interventions for depression is formulated for brief treatment sessions and is grounded in sound brain research (heart-brain connection), cardiovascular health, and evidenced-based practices of narrative therapy. Traumatic life experiences can change the course of life, and the path ahead may look impossible to navigate.
- Our past does not define our ultimate potential.
- We can change the way we respond to our experience with depression and old fears which don’t exist.
- We can choose to believe that we are survivors and transform our lives when we open our heart to the possibilities and miracles found with daily gratitude for our very breath of life.
It is awakening to the fact that each of us has a responsibility to love ourselves and love others who cross our path, creating a childlike excitement when meeting people that are part of a synchronistic event (McFeature & McFeature, 2017).
After all, it has always been about the journey, “the telling of the story” while holding on to gratitude as we reminisce. Therefore, most of us would probably say that although there were really difficult times, we would not change anything. With each passing day, we are closer to home and our true selves.
We are all part of the silent promise embodied in the rhythm of life, the silence found between every heartbeat.
Cinthia McFeature, Ph.D.
Bill McFeature, Ph.D.
McFeature, B. & McFeature, C. (2009). HeartPath practitioner – a practitioners guide: The healing journey through the Life Narrative into the Hearet of the Divine. Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing.
Feature, B. & Herron-McFeature, C. (2017) Integrated health – Heartpath practitioner assessment and intervention for the trauma exposed patient. Melbourne, FL: Motivational Press, Inc.
Murray MT (2013). SAMe (S-adenoslymethionine). In JE Pizzorno, MT Murray, eds., Textbook of Natural Medicine, 4th ed., pp. 1012-1017. St. Louis: Mosby.