Forgiveness and Gratitude promoting release and freedom from emotional painHow you view your life has a greater impact on your mood than what happens to you. Forgiving those who have harmed you and being grateful for what you have will help to free you from depression. By forgiveness I do not mean pardoning, excusing, or condoning. Forgiveness in no way absolves the transgressor of responsibility. Nor does it suggest that the transgression was not hurtful.

By forgiveness I do mean reflecting on what was done to you and how you feel about it. I do mean fully grieving the wound you experienced and making the conscious choice to let go of grudges, resentment, and bitterness. When you make the choice to forgive, you release yourself from the prison of rumination. You free yourself from the physiological stress of replaying the transgression over and over. It also releases you from role of victim. Forgiveness is empowering.

Feeling and expressing gratitude is one of the best ways to improve your mood. By choosing to focus on your blessings, rather than ruminating on your disappointments and shortcomings, you nourish positive feelings about yourself, your life and others. Practicing gratitude is one of the simplest and most effective strategies for transforming depression.

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