With Thanksgiving being celebrated in the US this week, it’s timely to note that researchers have shown that your brain is changed when you have a process of gratitude. In a study by the University of California, Berkeley, 300 adults were randomly divided into three groups. They all experienced mental health challenges, such as anxiety and depression.
All groups received counseling services, but the first group was also instructed to write one letter of gratitude to another person every week for three weeks. The second group was asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings about negative experiences. The third group did not do any writing activity.
What did they find?
The first group who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health over the other two groups. In fact, the study showed that they reported better mental health for up to 12 weeks after the writing exercise ended.
As we approach Thanksgiving in the US, let’s get in the habit of writing what and/or who we’re grateful for every day. Let’s start today and every day. I am grateful for my health, family, clients, tenants, and the abundance of new opportunities.
And, you? What are you grateful for?