Scientists Find that Practicing Gratitude Can Help Reduce Negative Emotions

Practicing gratitude helps increase happiness. (Photo via Pexels)

Do you often feel melancholy? Studies have shown that practicing gratitude can help increase positive emotions and happiness while reducing depression and increasing life satisfaction.

Washington, D.C. (ADH News) – Many people can feel more happiness on Thanksgiving Day! On Thanksgiving Day, family members usually gather to eat turkey and delicacies. The purpose is to thank God for the gifts in the past year. Many people will also take this opportunity to thank people or things in their lives. Gratitude is a good thing, and research has proven that it helps to increase happiness.

Many studies have shown that there is a relationship between gratitude and happiness! Now there is a study showing that gratitude can be practiced. A study published in Psychology for Clinical Settings in 2019 showed that practicing gratitude can help increase positive emotions and happiness while reducing depression and improving life satisfaction.

The research team of the Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre (UFCSPA) targeted 1,337 subjects and divided them into three groups, namely “Gratitude group,” “Hassles group,” and “Neutral Events group.” The members of the Gratitude group need to write down a 14-day daily gratitude list. The Hassles group needs to record the events and situations in which they feel hassles every day, and the Neutral Events group needs to record the real things that happened that day, whether gratitude or hassles.

To analyze the were affect, depression, happiness, and life satisfaction of the three groups, the subjects filled in the positive affect and negative affect schedule (PANAS), center for epidemiological studies depression scale (CES -D), subjective happiness scale (SHS), and satisfaction with life scale (SWLS).

Research results show that the Gratitude group successfully increased positive emotions, subjective well-being, and life satisfaction while reducing negative emotions and depressive symptoms. There are some similarities between the Gratitude group and the Neutral Events group, probably because their experimenters record positive events in their lives.

In other words, learning to be grateful is like learning to be happy. When people are grateful for the people or things in their lives, they can increase their positive emotions, and then feel happy and not lonely, because they know that when they encounter difficulties, someone in life will provide warmth and help, and many things are not that bad.

How are you feeling lately? Many experts also recommend “writing a diary” to relieve stress. Turning emotions into words can commemorate positive emotions, soothe negative emotions, and calm people down. On the other hand, people can learn more about themselves and track the trajectory of emotional changes through diaries to gradually improve and progress.

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