Article

Practicing Gratitude Linked to Better Health: A Discussion with Robert Emmons, PhD

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... További kutatások arról számoltak be, hogy a diszpozicionális hála magasabb HDL-koleszterinnel és alacsonyabb LDL-koleszterinnel, valamint alacsonyabb szintű szisztolés és diasztolés vérnyomással társul. A magasabb diszpozicionális hálával jellemezhetők szervezetében alacsonyabb szintű kreatinin-termelés, illetve alacsonyabb mértékű C-reaktív proteintermelés megy végbe, melyek közül az első a veseműködésben jelentős, utóbbi a szervezeten belüli bakteriális fertőzéseket, szöveti sérüléseket és gyulladásos folyamatokat jelzi (Hart, 2013). Mills és munkatársai (2015) akut szívelégtelenséggel küzdő betegeknél vizsgálták a vonásszintű hála szerepét. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims: Becoming a mother that is the forty weeks of pregnancy is a highlighted stage of life for a woman. It is a determinative period for both the mother and her child, who is to be born. Therefore, the preservation of mental health and support for women is especially important in prenatal care. Methods: This study aims to explore the relationship between dispositional gratitude, mental health, and prenatal development in pregnant women. Our study analyses questionnaire data (mental health test, short gratitude questionnaire) from 513 pregnant women who applied for genetic testing. Of the mothers who completed the questionnaire, 322 had an ultrasound, 295 had a risk assessment for a genetic disorder and 294 had a risk assessment for toxemia. Results: The study results revealed a positive correlation of medium strength between dispositional gratitude and mental health. Higher levels of dispositional gratitude were most strongly associated with global well-being and the ability to savor. None of the prenatal developmental risks showed a direct correlation with mental health, but there was lower mental health when risks were cumulative. Conclusion: In particular, pregnant women need professional mental health support alongside healthcare, so improving the well-being of pregnant women is a key priority, alongside maintaining their health. A potential means of doing this could be to increase gratitude, for example through gratitude diary. As an extension of this study, a longitudinal investigation of the use of gratitude interventions with expecting mothers was undertaken. Keywords: gratitude, mental health, pregnancy, pregnancy toxemia.
Article
Full-text available
BACKGROUND – Becoming a mother, that is the forty weeks of pregnancy, is a highlighted stage of life for a woman. It is a defining period for both the mother and her child, who is to be born. Furthermore, gestation can be understood as a normative crisis as well, during which numerous psychological problems may evolve. Therefore, the preservation of mental health and support provided for women are especially important in prenatal care. GOALS – The purpose of this study is to examine the role of gratitude, appreciation, subjective well-being, and social support – as momentous constructs of health psychology – in assisting mental health in the lives of pregnant women and to explore the relations between these variables. METHODS – 79 pregnant women participated in our online, qualitative investigation; 36 of them had been writing gratitude diaries for 4 weeks. We compared the questionnaires’ results (filled out both before and after the intervention) of the experimental group (n = 36) with the results of the control group (n = 43) similarly filled out on two different occasions. The following instruments were used in our study: Gratitude, Resentment, and Appreciation Test; Appreciation Scale; Subjective Well-Being Questionnaire; MOS Social Support Survey. RESULTS – Higher appreciation and dispositional gratitude correlate with a higher sense of subjective well-being and a better perception of social support. In the experimental group, writing a gratitude diary was followed by a significant positive change in all questionnaires: the scores for gratitude, appreciation, subjective well-being, and social support increased. CONCLUSIONS – Dispositional gratitude that can be improved by such a simple intervention as writing a gratitude diary is a useful means of supporting the mental health of pregnant women and thereby of preserving and promoting their psychological and physical well-being. Besides medical healthcare, expectant women are in particular need of professional mental support, wherefore it is important not only to maintain their physical health but also to introduce new methods that assist mentally the well-being of pregnant persons. Key words: gratitude, pregnancy, mental health, well-being, social support
Article
Full-text available
The management of depression and other negative psychological states in cardiac patients has been a focus of multiple treatment trials, though such trials have not led to substantial improvements in cardiac outcomes. In contrast, there has been minimal focus on interventions to increase positive psychological states in cardiac patients, despite the fact that optimism and other positive states have been associated with superior cardiovascular outcomes. Our objective was to develop an 8-week, phone-based positive psychology intervention for patients hospitalized with acute cardiac disease (acute coronary syndrome or decompensated heart failure). Such an intervention would consist of positive psychology exercises adapted for this specific population, and it would need to be feasible for practitioners and patients in real-world settings. By adapting exercises that were previously validated in healthy individuals, we were able to generate a positive psychology telemedicine intervention for cardiac patients that focused on optimism, kindness, and gratitude. In addition, we successfully created a companion treatment manual for subjects to enhance the educational aspects of the intervention and facilitate completion of exercises. Finally, we successfully performed a small pilot trial of this intervention, and found that the positive psychology intervention appeared to be feasible and well-accepted in a cohort of patients with acute cardiac illness. Future studies should further develop this promising intervention and examine its impact on psychological and medical outcomes in this vulnerable population of cardiac patients.
Article
Intervention research at the intersection of psychiatry and cardiology has primarily focused on the relationship between negative psychological syndromes (e.g., depression) and cardiac outcomes, with less emphasis on positive psychological attributes, such as optimism, gratitude, and well-being, as they relate to cardiac disease. Literature is reviewed in three specific areas regarding positive attributes and cardiac disease: (1) associations between positive attributes and cardiac outcomes, (2) potential mechanisms-both behavioral and physiologic-by which positive psychological states may impact cardiovascular health, and (3) interventions aimed at cultivating positive psychological attributes in healthy and medically ill persons. There is significant evidence that positive psychological attributes--especially optimism--may be independently associated with superior cardiac outcomes. Positive attributes appear to be associated with increased participation in cardiac health behaviors (e.g., healthy eating, physical activity) linked to beneficial outcomes; data linking positive psychological states and biomarkers of cardiac health (e.g., inflammatory markers) is mixed but suggests a potential association. Positive psychological interventions have consistently been associated with improved well-being and reduced depressive symptoms, though there have been few such studies in the medically ill. These findings regarding the relationship between positive psychological attributes and cardiac health are promising and suggest that positive psychology interventions may be worth study in this population. However, questions remain about the strength and specificity of these relationships, the most salient positive psychological attributes, and the impact of positive psychological interventions on health outcomes in cardiac patients.
Article
The word "gratitude" has a number of different meanings, depending on the context. However, a practical clinical definition is as follows-gratitude is the appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself; it is a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation. The majority of empirical studies indicate that there is an association between gratitude and a sense of overall well being. However, there are several studies that indicate potential nuances in the relationship between gratitude and well being as well as studies with negative findings. In terms of assessing gratitude, numerous assessment measures are available. From a clinical perspective, there are suggested therapeutic exercises and techniques to enhance gratitude, and they appear relatively simple and easy to integrate into psychotherapy practice. However, the therapeutic efficacy of these techniques remains largely unknown. Only future research will clarify the many questions around assessment, potential benefits, and enhancement of gratitude.