From Gloom To Gratitude: 8 Skills To Cultivate Joy

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From Gloom To Gratitude: 8 Skills To Cultivate Joy - NPR

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.
 
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