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Protect your health

Check out this month’s Balance about creating resilience through self-compassion, featuring Louisa Stringer, CCC, Caregiver Support and Outreach, Cape Wellness Collaborative

Find Balance

Published on December 14, 2020

Give thanks… and receive much more

Give thanks… and receive much more

Just 7 minutes is all it takes to create an act of thanks

Here’s a holiday gift idea that comes from the heart, is free and you can wrap it in no time… in fact, it doesn’t even involve shopping!

Are you up for a holiday challenge?

You are given seven minutes, a pen and a paper.

Can you write something that can demonstrably rewrite your life’s narrative of happiness?

Science tells us that you can -- by writing a gratitude letter. For the writer, this no-cost intervention that takes seven minutes has been proven to decrease emotional exhaustion and depression symptoms while increasing the happiness index. A one-week study confirming this effect was conducted among 1,575 healthcare workers reporting high level of burnout.

I hear you. A one-week study is too short. Do we know if the effect lasts beyond the first week? The answer is yes.

The power of positive thinking

Another study, among healthcare workers and using the same intervention, confirmed that the benefits lasted at the end of one month after the intervention.

Can similar interventions that focus on the positive side of life affect change that can last up to 12 months? Yes, a study using the Three Good Things (3GT) intervention confirms that the effects can be sustained at least 12 months. In this study, researchers used the 3GT intervention tool and participants received daily links to submit three responses to the prompts ‘What went well today?’ and ‘What was your role in making it happen?’ Participants could select the positive emotion that best fit how each good thing made them feel. They could also choose to share their Good Things in a daily log visible to other participants, and upon completion, were redirected to the log.

‘Tis the season to let the light shine

Between a gratitude letter and writing about what worked well in a day, it appears that we can begin to shine the light on the hidden gems of positives during this dreary COVID-19 pandemic year.

In this season of gifts and giving thanks, my wish is for each of us to open our eyes to the silver linings that herald brightness just around the corner.

Below are instructions on writing the gratitude letter.

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Safe Holiday Season! – Dr.Sid

Instructions for writing a gratitude letter:

Think of someone who has done something amazing for you. This person can be alive or no longer with us and contributed to your well-being in a big way. Spend the next 7 minutes writing a genuine, kind and appreciative two-part note.

Part 1: Tell this person what they did, the impact it had on you and the benefits you received.

Part 2: Tell this person why it was important to you.

– or –

Part 1: Tell this person what they did, the impact it had on you and why it was important to you.

Part 2: Tell this person what it says about them, that they did this amazing thing for you. You might include what this says about your relationship to this person.

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