Struggling with depression this holiday season?

By: Jayson Tripp, MD


It’s difficult to look for the bright side amidst the chaos of the holidays, but for individuals struggling with depression this holiday season keeping a focus on gratitude can be especially beneficial in reducing stress and improving depression symptoms.  

At Serenity Mental Health Centers, incorporating gratitude into the treatment process for depression has been found to have a significant impact on mental health. 

The link between gratitude and depression 

For people struggling to find an effective depression treatment, it may seem simplistic — and not explicitly scientific — to consider gratitude as an addition to their treatment plan. However, recent research  has shown that gratitude significantly improves long-term treatment results and helps provide relief from depression symptoms. 

In researching the benefits of daily gratitude, the University of California at Davis  compiled a list of statistics regarding how gratitude influences mental health. In their studies, the university found that the practice of gratitude activities (such as keeping a gratitude journal) reduced the risk of depression in at-risk patients by 41% over a six-month period. Even health-care providers reported a significant reduction in daily stress (28 percent) and depression (16 percent) over a two-week period of keeping a gratitude journal. 

How else to treat depression 

Practicing gratitude is one of the strongest strategies to foster a positive mindset, but the science of gratitude alone is not enough to help treat depression. Depression is often treated using a combination of different therapies. Your doctor may recommend pharmaceutical options like antidepressant medication or a more advanced treatment such as transcranial magnetic therapy (TMS).  

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an FDA approved treatment for depression that uses non-invasive magnetic pulses to target areas of the brain connected to depression. These pulses help the brain to develop healthy new neural pathways, allowing patients to overcome the negative effects of depression and in many cases experience remission from their symptoms. 

What to expect during your TMS appointment 

During your TMS session, your technician will encourage you to focus on what you’re grateful for to help maximize the effects of the treatment. They’ll guide you through talking and writing down your thoughts. This process will help you reframe your thoughts to be more inclined towards optimism.  

Whether you take time to acknowledge the things you’re thankful for, whether you choose to jot down some thoughts in a gratitude journal or simply stop for a moment each, the science of gratitude can transform your life. To learn more about how Serenity’s gratitude-based approach works, contact us or call o ur Patient Care team at 844-692-4100 today.

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*All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.