Recent mental health studies point to gratitude journaling as a healing tool for depression. In one study, participants wrote down just three positive things about their day every night before bed. This group showed improvement in depressive symptoms after only two weeks (Harbaugh & Vasey, 2014)!
Another Study had a gratitude group that created a gratitude diary and did gratefulness reflections, and a mindfulness group that created a mindfulness diary and did meditation. The participants journaled and reflected or meditated four times a week for five weeks. Both groups showed improvement of depressive symptoms, stress, and happiness levels (O’Leary & Dockray, 2015).
I decided to try gratitude journaling myself. I keep a journal by my bed and write down 3-5 experiences I find positive about my day. I wake up with a positive attitude and a thankful heart. Writing in a journal is really quite easy to do and has amazing results! I challenge you to try it!
Remember, exercise is also a great way to help your body combat depression. Try to make the time for some exercise this holiday season. Even when I don’t want to workout, I always feel better when I do!
Merry Christmas Everyone!
- Harbaugh, C. N., & Vasey, M. W. (2014). When do people benefit from gratitude practice? Journal Of Positive Psychology. 9(6), 535-546 12p. doi:10.1080/17439760.2014.927905
- O’Leary, K., & Dockray, S. (2015). The Effects of Two Novel Gratitude and Mindfulness Interventions on Well-Being. Journal Of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 21(4), 243-245 3p. doi:10.1089/acm.2014.0119