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Gratitude - Good or Bad?


Mikiesboy

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Lately, I've been interested in the psychology of gratitude. As I suffer greatly from depression, I like to try anything that I can to keep those feelings at bay. From what I've been reading, writing down what you're grateful for helps people manage their environment, deal with others, and live in general. So, basically, if you have higher levels of gratitude, your life is better, and in turn, you are more grateful—a neverending spiral of goodness. 

If you're interested in doing this, it is usually suggested that you write down reasons to be grateful daily. That's a big ask, and it's not as simple as it sounds. Even if you can come up with three every day, is it always the right thing to do?

Focusing on the positive can be as destructive as depression. Both feelings are extreme and can put you out of balance. How can we be authentic people if we live at one extreme?

No matter how grateful or positive we are, we have to face the fact there are bad days. Days when no matter what we do, we cannot control the actions of others. Yes, we have control over how we deal with things, but is it wrong to be angry sometimes?

Sometimes gratitude and being positive doesn't help.

On those bad days, feeling real gratitude is nearly impossible and can feel superficial. It's like the anger or frustration you feel isn't justified or real.

On those days, I allow myself to be angry or frustrated. In my mind, I know I have a lot to be grateful for, but I accept that right now, today, whatever it is, is just crap. And it's an authentic feeling.

And I know this too, shall pass.

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2 hours ago, kbois said:

Being grateful/feeling gratitude had its time and place... just like everything else. 

It's very true. There are those people who always try to see the silver lining or the good in everything. You tell them you lost your job, and they say something better will come along. This is while you wonder how to pay the rent, buy food, pay your insurance, and more. That kind of thing isn't remotely helpful.

Thanks for your ever-present support! 

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2 hours ago, drown said:

Tim—
Honestly, I found it hard to come up with the right words, but I really wanted to respond. Your honesty about gratitude and dealing with the tough days hit home. It's not always easy to talk about, but it's so necessary. Remember, it's perfectly okay to have those not-so-great feelings. And it's more than perfectly okay to be angry at times. It's better to ride this out than suppress emotions. And as you said, there will be better days.

I don't know you well enough (yet), but you can always reach out to me, also if it's just for ranting, being angry, being human.

🐺Drown

Thanks, Drown.  I appreciate your offer of support!

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2 hours ago, chris191070 said:

We all have to deal with tough days. But sometimes Gratitude and positivity can help us through these tough days.

You're right, chris.  I think once we see how balanced we can be, even when something bad happens we know we can get through it.

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  • Site Moderator

I really like what you’ve said here, tim. 

Allowing one’s self the right to have bad or even mediocre day without self-recrimination or judgement seems like a very healthy way to live. 

Life isn’t always going to be sunshine and roses, and that’s okay. Every day is a new day, so there’s that to look forward to. 

As always, nicely done. xoxo. 

👍👍

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2 hours ago, Reader1810 said:

Every day is a new day, so there’s that to look forward to. 

:)  Thank you, Reader.  We humans seem to like extremes, like balance is a bad thing.  Hmmm, maybe a poem in there somewhere.  Thank you also for your constant support and friendship. i don't think i tell you that enough. xoxo

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It pleases me that you're seeing balance in your life and emotions.  You often resided at one extreme or the other. That you feel that perhaps you find comfort in the middle of the two is a wonderful thing. 

Keep investigating what options you have and what feels right for you.  I don't believe there is a single answer, so stay open to what may be of help. 

xoxo M

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14 minutes ago, MichaelS36 said:

Keep investigating what options you have and what feels right for you

Yes, Sir.  Thank you xo

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