Researchers have recently delved into how we can improve our well-being and mental health without investing too much money or time.
This new study involved 300 college students who reported struggling with issues such as anxiety and depression. They were split into 3 groups with each group being assigned a task. The first one had to write letters of gratitude to one person for 3 weeks; the second group had to write about their negative experiences, while the last group did not do any writing activity.
So what did the results reveal? Well, apparently the group who wrote letters of gratitude reported much better mental health than their peers. This only proves how practicing gratitude, even for one day per week, can significantly improve our well-being. This is true for people dealing with serious mental health issues as well as people who are well-adjusted.
But how do small acts of gratitude impact us so much? Here are the 3 ways gratitude benefits our psychological well-being:
1. Gratitude can release us from negative emotions
This is because when we feel thankful for what we have in our lives, we’re shifting our whole perspective. We let go of toxic emotions and dwell on what makes us happy. After all, you can’t ruminate and feel gratitude at the same time.
2. The benefits of gratitude take time
If you find yourself writing a gratitude letter, don’t give up if you don’t feel better instantly. Learn to practice being thankful for everything and do it constantly. You will soon reap all the wonderful benefits.
3. Gratitude has lasting effects on our brain
A study found that the brain activity of people feeling grateful was different from the brain activity of people showing gratitude because of guilt. Although we don’t know this for sure yet, the study could point to the fact that expressing gratitude has long-time effects on the brain. This may help us become more sensitive and more aware when it comes to gratitude.
Share this to show all the people you love how grateful you are to have them in your life!