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Be grateful to raise your spirits

Be grateful to raise your spirits

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Behavioral Health

Happiness can be found in numerous ways. For some, it is spending time with the love of their life, others long for travel that leads to new experiences, and some can’t help but smile every time they enjoy their daily dose of caffeine. Please don’t judge.  


If you are looking for an easy way to improve your mood, try practicing gratitude. Not only is it likely to make you happier, it often spreads joy to others.  


In a study by psychologists, Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael McCullough of the University of Miami found that participants who wrote about things they were grateful for once a week for ten weeks were happier about their lives and had fewer doctor visits than a group that wrote about things that upset them on a weekly basis. 


Another study by Psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman revealed that individuals who wrote and delivered a letter of gratitude to someone they had not properly thanked had an immediate increase in happiness that could last for a month. 


Happiness is hard to measure but practicing gratitude costs you nothing and takes very little time.  


Try the suggestions below, and you’ll likely be surprised at how much happiness you can find in the little things. 


Tip #1: Write letters or notes to friends and loved ones. In a digital age, when communication is easy and fast, it is special to receive a handwritten letter or note expressing feelings of gratitude. 


Tip #2: Journal your thoughts. You don’t need to craft elegant prose or write in complete sentences. Just get happy thoughts on paper. It can even be a mixture of words, drawings and scribbles. 


Tip #3: When you are grateful, note it on a notepad app on your phone. It can be anything, perhaps finding a $5 bill in your coat pocket, discovering a new author that you enjoy, or your boss praising you at a staff meeting. Then when you are feeling down, go back and scroll through your list. The happy memories will often drown out why you are sad. 


These gratitude tips are simple ways to make you smile and feel better. If you are suffering from depression, please contact your family doctor.  



Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.