October 19, 2022
Expressing gratitude can improve mood, reduce stress
What impact can gratitude have on mental health? Research shows that gratitude can reduce stress and improve mental and physical health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chapter in California has shared several studies on “The Impact of Gratitude on Mental Health,” including:
- “How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain” – Greater Good Magazine
- “Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier” – Harvard Health
- “If You Feel Thankful, Write It Down. It’s Good For Your Health” – NPR
- “When Looking for Happiness, Find Gratitude” – NAMI
- “7 Surprising Health Benefits of Gratitude” – Time
There are many ways to express gratitude, and “Virtues for Life” offers 100 ways to express gratitude and boost happiness, which include keeping a gratitude journal, practicing random acts of kindness, watching a specific TED Talk and more. See the entire list here.
Another tool to help individuals express gratitude is a Gratitude Card, which Mental Health America (MHA) offers among its DIY Tools.
As a way to jump start expressing gratitude, consider engaging in the Healthy Boiler October behavioral health challenge, The 100 Thanks Challenge. The challenge invites individuals to say “thank you” 100 times. The goal is for individuals to train their minds to look for things they are grateful for in their lives, which will lead to greater overall happiness. Every month new challenges for each of the five Healthy Boiler pillars are posted; be sure to check the portal often for new challenges and information.
MHA’s 60-minute recorded presentation – “Cultivating Gratitude to Support Wellbeing” – is free to watch and explores:
- The science behind the brain and well-being
- How to use what we know about the brain to work for and not against us
- How to intentionally incorporate gratitude and other well-being tools into daily life
Slides of the presentation also are available at no cost.
In addition, PositivePsychology.com offers a variety of resources on gratitude.
To assist faculty and staff
Faculty and staff can review the Mental Health Resources webpage for a variety of available resources that support the behavioral health pillar of the Healthy Boiler Program, as well as information on Purdue’s health plan coverage for mental health and substance abuse.
To assist students
Faculty and staff who work with students or have a student at home can direct them to the resources below for behavioral health assistance. Note: United Healthcare Student Resources (UHCSR) — medical plan provider for students and graduate students — offers 292 unique mental health providers serving at various locations that are in-network with UHCSR within Tippecanoe County. The list is available here. Additionally, students have access to HealthiestYou, which provides virtual access to mental health care as part of UHCSR’s plan. All services are free for students covered under the UHCSR insurance plan.
- Continuous Network of Support
- Services and Information
- Presentations & Trainings
- Student of Concern Reporting Link
- Therapy Services at CAPS
- Self-help Resources
- Group Therapy
- CAPS YouTube channel
- NAMI On Campus – A free, virtual support group on campus.
- Thriving Campus – Service that provides students a way to search for mental health providers in many areas, locally and across the country
- WellTrack – Interactive, self-help therapy app for students