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20228/1

What is the science-backed “gratitude training” that improves mental health in just 15 minutes a day?

Everyone somehow knows that “it feels good to be grateful.

However, it has never been scientifically proven that gratitude improves mood.

Hello, This is Santoshi.

Don’t underestimate the power of gratitude.

It has the power to make others happy and yourself happy.

A study by Ernst Bohlmeijer, a psychologist and mental health expert at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, and his colleagues have confirmed that “conscious gratitude actually improves mental health.

Promoting Gratitude as a Resource for Sustainable Mental Health: Results of a 3-Armed Randomized Controlled Trial up to 6 Months Follow-up | SpringerLink
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10902-020-00261-5

Consciously training our sense of gratitude is good for mental health | Home (EN)
https://www.utwente.nl/en/news/2020/5/631059/consciously-training-our-sense-of-gratitude-is-good-for-mental-health

 

Grateful perspective in life promotes mental well-being, finds study
https://medicaldialogues.in/psychiatry/news/grateful-perspective-in-life-promotes-mental-well-being-finds-study-66114


Bohlmeijer’s research team recruited participants through psychology journals, newspaper ads, and social media to conduct an experiment with “adults with low well-being and mild mental health problems.”

Applicants were then given an online informed consent and screening test, which ultimately resulted in 217 remaining participants.

The average age of the participants was 48.6 years; of the total, 88.5% were Dutch citizens, 89.9% were female, 78.3% were highly educated, 73.7% were working, 74.2% were living with others, and 48.8% were married.

The research team randomly divided the participants into three groups for a six-week experiment.

The first group practiced “gratitude training,” a combination of the following six behaviors during the experiment.

The first group kept a diary and wrote down three things that happened that day that made them happy and the reasons for their happiness.

Find one thing that you take for granted in your daily life, such as “clean water from the tap” or “having a loved one or pet by your side,” and imagine what it would be like if it were no longer there.

Write a letter of thanks to someone who has done something nice for you. The letter can be sent by mail, e-mail, or in person when you meet them.

Write down as much detail as possible about the events in your life and the people you have met and appreciated.

Contrary to the above, write about a difficult event in your past and the positive changes you have made as a result of that experience.

Every morning for 5 minutes, make a conscious effort to be thankful for things.

The research team estimates that this training takes about 15 minutes per day, or about 75 minutes per week.


The second group was asked to choose one day a week to perform five “self rewards.

The specifics of the “rewards” were left to the discretion of each participant, except that they had to be “something special that I have not done very often in the past,” such as “making myself a cup of coffee,” “treating myself to a favorite magazine or meal,” or “spending time on a hobby.

Spend time on a hobby.

The average time required to complete each of the five activities was estimated to be about 75 minutes.

The third and final group was a control group that did nothing.

However, to ensure that this did not affect the participants’ psychology, participants in this group were instructed to “find some activity during the six weeks that would best achieve their happiness” and to perform that activity after the experimental period.

When each group was then given a mental health test at the end of the experimental period, the results of the first group that had performed the gratitude training surpassed those of the other groups in several categories, including “happiness,” “gratitude,” “contentment,” and “joy. The difference was particularly noticeable in “happiness,” where about one-third of the first group showed increased happiness, compared to 19.2% of the second group and 13.6% of the third group.


Commenting on the results, Bohlmeijer said, “The point is not to ignore negative experiences, but to appreciate the good aspects of life while facing difficulties and psychological pain.

That is the essence of ‘resilience,’ the resilience of the spirit,” he said.

 

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