Can Gratitude Really Help Your Postpartum Depression?

If you are struggling with postpartum depression and/or postpartum anxiety, the world can often feel like a dark and lonely place, and finding things that you are grateful might feel hard. The good news is that, yes, gratitude can help your postpartum depression.

Being grateful daily has many studied benefits. It can help you:

  • Build a stronger immune system
  • Get higher-quality sleep
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Give you a higher self-confidence

Learn more about how getting better and higher-quality sleep can also help your postpartum depression in our blog, “You Need More Sleep to Support Postpartum Depression.”

Gratitude Helps the Mental Health of Postpartum Women

A 2022 study showed that depressed women who were more grateful overall, were more accepting of their depression, which in turn related to their increased wellbeing and decreased feelings of depression and anxiety.

Yet it can be hard for someone in the midst of depression to stop, look around and practice gratitude every day. It can be hard to feel thankful in the middle of darkness or loneliness or anxiousness.

Increase Your Gratitude with a Daily Gratitude Practice

Let’s Practice. Take 5 Seconds For Yourself, Right Now As You Are Reading This, For This Gratitude Practice.

  1. Breath.
  2. Think Of 1 Thing Today That You Were Thankful For, That Is Specific And Connects With A Positive Emotion. For Example, Rather Than Saying, “I Am Grateful For My Partner Today;” Say, “I Am Grateful My Partner Brought Me Coffee Today, When I Was Tired.”
  3. Say It Out Loud Or To Yourself In Your Mind.

That’s It.

Practice This Simple Exercise Every Day And Watch Your Mindset Improve.

Increase Your Gratitude with a Daily Gratitude Journal

Another way to increase your gratitude is to use a daily gratitude journal.

According to Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, simply keeping a gratitude journal— regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well‑being and life satisfaction.

You can find hundreds of gratitude journals on Amazon, but it also works the exact same if you simply write it on a blank piece of paper or on a note app on your phone.

Just anywhere you can write down 3 things.

Use Gratitude Journal Prompts

If you are struggling with 3 things that you are grateful for today, you can also try prompts instead. Here are a few prompt ideas to think about:

  • What is one good thing that happened today?
  • What is one thing I can appreciate about my health?
  • What relationship am I grateful for?
  • What am I most thankful for about being a mom?
  • What do I appreciate about my child?
  • What are 3 of your best qualities?

What Are You Grateful For Today?

Simply being grateful can change your mind and your body – and help lessen your postpartum depression symptoms.

What are you grateful for today, mom?

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