10 years ago, I was enrolled in a course on positive psychology, my favorite type of psychology! Traditional psychology mainly focuses on dysfunction and what does not work. On the flip side, positive psychology aims to understand what does work, meaning what contributes to our flourishing, increased happiness and life satisfaction.
I don’t recall a whole lot from the specific course but what did stand out was a research study ( I don’t have a link or reference I’m afraid, it’s been so long) which showed the positive impact of gratefulness. The experiment began with measuring the participants’ overall happiness. Then, they were divided into two groups. One group received a gratitude journal where they were instructed to write 10 things they were grateful for each night. The other group did not obtain directions. Months later (I believe it was three) the same testing was done and a comparison was made between the two groups results. Lo and behold, group one (with the gratitude journal) showed an increase in their overall well-being while the second group showed no difference.
Do you want to feel better? Invest in a gratitude journal 🙂