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Consciously training our sense of gratitude is good for mental health

Effect of gratitude on mental well-being

One study shows that a six-week training in which participants were trained in their awareness of gratitude led to an increase in thankfulness as well as an increase in their sense of well-being.

The effect on well-being was noticeable for up to six months after the training.

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Consciously training our sense of gratitude is good for mental health

Consciously training our sense of gratitude is good for mental health

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-05-consciously-gratitude-good-mental-health.html

medicalxpress.com

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Key Ideas

Showing gratitude is beneficial

Research reveals that people with a sense of gratitude - focusing on what is good in their life - are happier and less likely to suffer from psychological issues.

Training yourself to be more thankful can help you feel better and increase your mental resilience.

Effect of gratitude on mental well-being

One study shows that a six-week training in which participants were trained in their awareness of gratitude led to an increase in thankfulness as well as an increase in their sense of well-being.

The effect on well-being was noticeable for up to six months after the training.

Training ourselves

To develop a sense of gratitude, do the following for about 10 to 15 minutes every day.

  • Actively focus on feeling thankful.
  • Express gratitude to others.
  • Write positively about your own life.
  • Reflect on the positive effects of adversity.

The idea is not to ignore bad experiences. Acknowledge difficulties while appreciating the positive things in life.

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Write a thank-you note

You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person's impact on your life. 

Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. 

Thank someone mentally

No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you and mentally thank the individual.

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More than 20 million Americans...

More than 20 million Americans...

...practice yoga, making it one of the most popular forms of exercise.

Yoga and other forms of exercise

Although the research on yoga is still weak, based on the available findings, Yoga is probably just as good for your health as many other forms of exercise. 

It seems particularly promising for improving lower back pain and — crucially — reducing inflammation in the body.

Unclear benefits of Yoga

There is no certainty whether some forms of yoga are better than others, whether yoga should be prescribed to people for various health conditions, and how yoga compares with other forms of exercise. 

There's also no good evidence behind many of the supposed health benefits of yoga, like flushing out toxins and stimulating digestion.

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The imposter

True mindfulness has been spoiled by an imposter. The imitation provides an excuse to be self-centered and self-indulgent. It promises health and spiritual purity.

Definition of mindfulness

Mindfulness is the nonjudgemental awareness of the richness, subtlety and variety of the present moment, not just of the self. It is not the same as meditation, although meditation can form part of it.

Mindfulness acknowledges every moment of existence, good and bad. It is used to stand still in the moment, reflect and gain perspective.

Mindfulness is a limited tool

Gazing inward to focus on a connection with yourself cannot deliver magical benefits. Acknowledging your thoughts is not the same as cherishing them.

While mindfulness has some usefulness, we should also realize the benefits when we lose self-awareness, for example when we are in a state of flow.