Do you ever wish that you could elevate your mood with a few simple strategies? A recent NPR story, “From Gloom to Gratitude: 8 Skills to Cultivate Joy,” reports on a research study that showed success when participants practiced 8 skills over a 5-week period.
Feel like you’re living under a rain cloud? Life not going your way? Lots of us have a bit of Eeyore’s angst and gloom.
But here’s the good news (sorry to be so cheery): You can be taught to have a more positive attitude. And — if you work at it — a positive outlook can lead to less anxiety and depression.
The latest evidence comes from a new study of caregivers — all of whom had the stressful job of taking care of a loved one with dementia. The study found that following a five-week course, participants’ depression scores decreased by 16 percent and their anxiety scores decreased by 14 percent. The findings were published in the current issue of Health Psychology.
The course teaches eight skills to help people cope with stress. Techniques include mindfulness and deep breathing, setting an attainable daily goal, keeping a gratitude journal and — yes, it works — performing small acts of kindness.(emphasis added)
During the Gentle class on Tuesday, May 7, Angie reference this story and invited students to practice, with her, “positive reappraisal” (#6 on the list). To read or hear about the other 7 strategies, along with participants’ perspectives, check out the complete story.
(Spoiler alert: #8 is practicing mindfulness! For guidance in developing your own mindfulness and meditation skills, join Alice for any of our three monthly classes. Drop in for either of the studio classes—typically held on the second Saturday at 2 p.m. and second Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.—or pre-register for Meditation@the Museum at The Downing Museum.)
And let us know your experiences—either with these 8 strategies or other ones that you have found or developed on your own!