Do you want to become better at being grateful?
I built a simple site where you can list 3 things you’re grateful for that day.
Research shows that being grateful makes you happier and healthier. I want to help people be more grateful, especially people who are depressed.
I’d appreciate your comments.
A great "how to" book is: The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want by Sonja Lyubomirsky (a Ph.D. researcher in the field of study) http://thehowofhappiness.com -- this book shares the specific advice you share in your comment.
A lot of great books I can recommend as well, e.g. Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert and The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt.
But, it turned out to be very effective, and being 'forced' to do my homework paid off. She later explained that she usually starts out with this 'exercise' because most of her clients are not just dealing with their particular issues, but also with those issues festering and affecting their sense of self-worth and day-to-day thinking process. And helping her clients improve in that area generally made it much easier and effective when dealing with the particulars.
Psychology is rather funny - good to study it empirically! I'm so thankful there are so many Ph.D. researchers who take it seriously and contribute to the general knowledge by writing books for the general public.
Beyond that, really fun idea. It makes me happy to see an app idea with a more humanistic goal.
Research shows that if you list at least three things you’re grateful for everyday, you will significantly improve your mental health.
Psychology in my view needs a theoritical approach. Did Freud, William James etc need to do experiments with 30 graduate students to study about the working of the mind, and behaviour of people?.
There is value in approaching problems analytically rather than resorting to empirical methods.
> theories can be valuable in themselves
Maybe they can be (in pure mathematics, or philosophy, as the sibling comment points out), but not if your end-goal is to apply your theory or its predictions in the real world. Then suddenly the soundest and most coherent of theories can fall apart.
> There is value in approaching problems analytically rather than resorting to empirical methods.
Sure, but whether your arrive at your predictions analytically or empirically it does not preclude you from testing them experimentally.
Specifically what it means is that the current binary system for describing significance is built precisely in such a way that even in the case of true effects, the probability that two studies would disagree could be as high as 50%. Therefore we need better metrics to describe the evidence. What it does NOT mean, is that all the research conducted is sham and worthless.
Specifically, if one study finds p=0.045 and another finds p=0.055, then the two studies will be in conflict (i.e. failure to replicate). But to use those pvalues to then claim "there is no evidence of an effect" shows a misunderstanding of the whole process, since a pvalue of 0.055 is actually pretty good evidence (just not as good as our arbitrary threshold).
Popularisation of the term "replication crisis" as a term is part of the problem if you ask me. It points the finger completely in the wrong direction.
Social scientists have focused on gratitude since the 1930s (Baumgarten-Tramer, 1938; Bergler, 1945, 1950; Gouldner, 1960; Heider, 1958; Schwartz, 1967; Simmel, 1950). Though it has been considered fundamental to the maintenance of reciprocity obligations between people (Gouldner, 1960; Simmel, 1950) and evolutionarily adaptive for its promotion of altruistic behavior (Trivers, 1971), the bulk of empirical research occurred over the past dozen years because psychological research was long dominated by a focus on pathology rather than flourishing (Seligman & Csik- szentmihalyi, 2000). Two classic studies—showing that expressing and experiencing gratitude bring peace of mind, satisfying personal relationships, and well-being (Emmons & McCullough, 2003; McCullough et al., 2002)—catalyzed the field, and since then a girth of research on gratitude and its applications have emerged.
I do this every morning when I wake up and have for a good year or so.
I honestly don't notice much of a difference.
Furthermore, just because something doesn't work for you, doesn't mean it doesn't work for others. Additionally, unless you've been keeping a log before and after you started the interventions, you should be at least skeptical about the difference you expect. It's entirely possible you got better, adjusted to the norm, and just think you feel as good as you normally do - while your "normal" is better than before.
Finally, the effect is more likely to be pronounced in people feeling worse than average. If your life is fantastic, you might not get much of a benefit from an intervention that has otherwise strong effects on people.
Maybe it's because my outlook is generally one of being grateful, so I may have already received the benefits without this exercise.
In any case, I'd be wary of any claims like this unless someone tries it for at least 6 months. I expect initially one will get benefits but after N months it fizzles away.
It's three things! Just write them down somewhere. Heck, put them in a text file and check it into git.
I ran into a similar mindset with someone asking about BMI on another forum I frequent and someone suggested a website. It's two math operations! Just open the calculator on your phone (yes, even flip phones have one), or on the computer you're reading this on.
ETA: For those wondering, here's the three things as I heard them:
1. Something that made you smile or happy:
2. Something you are grateful for:
3. Something you did well:
Or, is there value in aggregating things that people say to help those who are struggling to find a reason to be grateful. .. turn that into a weekly trend line. are people more grateful for their health during a pandemic? are people more grateful for their spouse in the summer? that sort of stuff could be interesting.
As for the trends idea, that sounds brilliant. Will consider it for the future. Thanks for sharing!
Definitely something I take for granted. It’s good to be reminded each day is a gift.
After decades of severe depression, it isn't entirely surprising to me that there must be an "I" to experience positive things in order for gratitude to give a lasting impact to the mood.
"I'm grateful for people who remove landmines, for talented artists creating beauty in the world, for little caring gestures that strangers have for each other." But this reads more abstractly than when there's a person to actually experience its consequences directly, and it feels very different from the inside too as it holds little connection to the self.
It's a good habit nonetheless, because if anything it is a mechanical workout to cultivate a capacity for empathy (for self in healthier people perhaps, but in general otherwise).
"Be happy you have a cup!"
There are different kinds of RARE goals depending on what you're going through at the moment (stress/lack of focus/mindfullness/etc) and each has its own duration (typically 21 days), during which you daily perform such activities like guided meditation, a guided breathing exercise, a random act of kindness, reading of some wisdom article/inspiring RAK story and many a times, expressing gratitude.
 - https://www.intelligentchange.com/products/the-five-minute-j...
It is a delight as a parent to see how much joy it brings our children when they share with others what they are thankful for. It can be as simple as “blankets” and “blocks”, which I have witnessed and smiled about.
It brings me comfort knowing that our kids will have specifically communicated their gratitude in this way about 5000 times prior to entering high school.
In our area of the world, a large percentage of high school students are on anti-depression medication and the rates continue to rise. I hope this activity is one way to lean against that trend.
The issue I saw with doing this as a web app is there's nothing in a web app to actually force you to do the logging. You have to remember to do it which I didn't like.
Don’t doomscroll through their gratitudes if that’s distracting for you, and if pen and paper works better for you then that’s amazing!
Goal is to just be grateful :)
Hope you have a good day.