With the rise of managed health care, which emphasizes cost-efficiency and brevity, mental health professionals have had to confront this burning question: How can they help clients derive the greatest possible benefit from treatment in the shortest amount of time?
Recent evidence suggests that a promising approach is to complement psychological counseling with additional activities that are not too taxing for clients but yield high results. In our own research, we have zeroed in on one such activity: the practice of gratitude. Indeed, many studies over the past decade have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed.
We set out to address these questions in a recent research study involving nearly 300 adults, mostly college students, who were seeking mental health counseling at a university. We recruited these participants just before they began their first session of counseling, and, on average, they reported clinically low levels of mental health at the time. The majority of people seeking counseling services at this university in general struggled with issues related to depression and anxiety. The problem is that most research studies on gratitude have been conducted with college students or other well-functioning people. Is gratitude beneficial for people who struggle with mental health concerns? And, if so, how?
- Gratitude unshackles us from toxic emotions
- Gratitude helps even if you don’t share it
- Gratitude’s benefits take time
- Gratitude has lasting effects on the brain
For more details on these findings please visit SharpBrains where the article was derived.
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