MENTAL HEALTH

Gratitude helps everyone

Aug 19, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: 5:04 pm

Gratitude is something that can not only let someone know that you're grateful, but it is something...

writing a note to someone you appreciate not only brightens their day, but it can actually improve heart health and mental health (shutterstock) Rejoicing goes deeper than simply having gratitude, writes Susan Evans McCloud.

(shutterstock)

SALT LAKE CITY — Gratitude is something that can not only let someone know that you’re grateful. It is something that can actually improve heart health and help with depression.

Kim Cameron from the University of Michigan does a study with his students to show the effects of being thankful.

So for example, in my class at University of Michigan, the students are required to keep a journal to write in their journal every day.

Half of those people, however, are assigned to write three things for which they’re grateful, or five minutes before they go to bed tonight, the best thing that happened to them during the day, the other half of the students simply Journal, the issues they faced the interactions they had the problems they solved, or whatever.

Then at the end of the semester, you give students a set of, of tests. One, for example, as you give all the students at flu shot, seven days later, those keeping a gratitude journal are healthier that is there a significant degree more antibodies in their system, then the first group, you give them a creativity task? What’s that? Well, think of all the things you can use your brick for, or a ping pong ball or something.

Those keeping a gratitude journal have a broader variety of ideas, and simply a more numerous ideas that has mental flexibility. You give them a mental acuity task, that is memorize information or remember information or come up with sophisticated decision rules for complex data, those keeping a gratitude journal, or a higher level of performance mentally, cognitively, than the other group. So it redounds to your own benefit.

How does it affect us?

He notes a well-replicated study. In the study half of a group of heart disease patients were assigned to keep a gratitude journal every day for eight weeks. The other half of these people were not told to keep such a journal. At the end of the eight weeks, they measured heart health.

The results were as you’d expect. Patients who kept gratitude journals “had not only not deteriorated, unlike the other group, but their hearts had healed significantly more in just eight weeks.” said Cameron

Another study was done of individuals who were all diagnosed with clinical depression, and all of them were put into therapy.

Half of these people were assigned to write a thank-you letter to someone each week for three weeks. Then six months later, they measured the extent to which these people still suffer from clinical depression.

Turns out, those who wrote the gratitude journal showed increased mental health. Also, they exceeded the health of the ones who didn’t write in journals.

In other words, thank-you letters proved a more significant intervention than therapy.

How to show gratitude?

Cameron notes several easy practices to show more gratitude in our lives.

One is to keep a gratitude journal. Let your children keep a gratitude journal.

I know some companies, by the way, with 10,000 employees, every employee is given a gratitude journal, and it changes things a lot.

Additionally, he added to think about others who have served you and write them a simple thank you note. 

Cameron noted that this is a very small, easily implemented practice that changes things a lot. “It changes heart rhythm changes brainwaves, it changes, performance that changes all kinds of things,” he said.

Cameron closed by saying, “Human beings, as it turns out, are inherently inclined toward being positive, being virtuous, being grateful, being compassionate, and so on.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Mental Health

A study from the University of Utah shows that being outside for at least 10 minutes a day helps im...

Josuee Sanchez

Being outside for just 10 minutes can improve mental health

A study from the University of Utah shows that being outside for at least 10 minutes a day helps improve mental health.

1 day ago

Telehealth has been around for decades, especially in rural and frontier communities. It has become...

Michelle Lee

How telehealth is revolutionizing health care

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with CAPT Heather Dimeris to learn how telehealth is changing the way patients receive health care.

3 days ago

Vehicles pass by a sign showing solidarity amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Murray on Sunday, April 12...

Heather Peterson

Youth mental health in Utah improving, post-pandemic

The latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 37% of respondents reported feeling so sad or hopeless that they changed their usual activities.

13 days ago

(Canva)...

Michelle Lee

Tips for booking your next vacation

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Claire Newell, Founder of Travel Best Bets, to learn her tips on booking a great vacation.

17 days ago

Demonstrators in support of trans rights gathered outside the Utah Capitol in early 2024. (Aimee Co...

Aimee Cobabe

High court decision may impact transgender-related medical treatment for Utah minors

The Supreme Court will hear a Tennessee case arguing that a ban on all medical treatments prescribed to help minors transition is unconstitutional.

30 days ago

The new ABS Kids center in Ogden will provide therapeutic services to children with autism in Utah....

Britt Johnson and Emma Keddington

Autism rates are surging in Utah, new treatment center to open in Ogden

1 in 36 children are diagnosed with autism in Utah. ABS Kids, a therapeutic center, is adding an Ogden location to keep up with treatment demand.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Gratitude helps everyone