How gratitude changes your life
Psychological research has proven that a positive emotional mood is associated with more creativity, better problem-solving skills, and, thus, more success in life. Sounds logical.
Imagine permanently improving your mood with just two minutes a week. Sounds too good to be true?
The trick is super simple: be grateful!
The Scientific Proof
Emmons and McCullough found in 2003 that this simple exercise increased happiness: For ten weeks, participants in a study wrote down five things they were grateful for each week. After ten weeks, the participants in this group were significantly happier than a comparison group that had only written down events from the previous week for ten weeks.
Once a week is enough!
In 2005, Lyubomirsky compared two groups. The participants in one group wrote down the things they were grateful for three times a week. The participants in the other group did the same, but only once a week. These participants were happier after completing the trial, demonstrating that one should not overdo it to avoid habituation. Thus, "Gratitude" journals tend to want too much. That's why this journal only asks you what you're grateful for once a week.
Seligman, Stehen, Park and Peterson also conducted a placebo-controlled study in 2005. They evaluated the participants six months after starting the exercise. They found that those participants who wrote down things they were grateful for once a week were happier and less depressed than the control group.
How does it work?
All you need is a little bit of time. About two minutes a week is enough to consider what you are grateful for. Things you have benefited from and without which you would be missing something in your life.
These things stay in your head by writing things down (and reading them repeatedly over the next few days). You automatically keep thinking about the good experience.