Are you struggling with feelings of depression? Just can’t seem to get your spirits lifted, or find motivation to get things done? Unsure how to get yourself moving in a forward direction?

Here’s a quick tip: Practice gratitude journaling. Every day write down five things you are grateful for.

Depression can really start to steal your thoughts. It can cause negative thought loops or automatic negative thoughts about yourself, your life, other people…and those thoughts can seem to perpetually run through your head causing negative sentiment override.

So, take your brain back. Start thinking of things you’re grateful for. Even if it’s the little things like your soft pillow, the sunshine, or those kind words a friend said.

As an Atlanta counselor who sees clients struggling with depression, I know how hard it can be to adjust negative thoughts and get yourself motivated enough to even write something down. And, I know that even though it’s difficult, you can do it.

Research says that negative feeling chemicals are produced in our bodies when we think negative thoughts. Positive feeling chemicals are produced in our bodies when we think positive thoughts. So, go ahead and try it.

I know you may not feel good right after this exercise, but do it any way. And of course, since I’m an Atlanta counselor and I’ve got tons of suggestions, I’ve included more about how you can work to fight depression, Atlanta counseling style.

Here are some more tips:

Get sunlight exposure every day

Exercise daily

Connect with others

volunteer/give to others

practice gratitude

Eat healthy (no junk foods)

And, here’s another tip. Act opposite of your depression. Depression is really a motivation killer, and I know it’s really difficult, but I want you to push past that and do opposite of what your depression feels. If you want to stay in bed and sleep 20 hours, get out of bed and go for a walk. Even if it’s a short walk. Do it. If your depression causes you to withdraw from others, connect with a close friend who is kind to you. If your depression causes lack of appetite, eat healthy meals anyway. Act opposite of the things depression causes you to do, and do positive healthy things instead.