Promoting Mental Wellness in Our Communities
The holiday season is traditionally a time to gather with family and friends and reflect upon those things for which we are thankful. However, it also marks the beginning of what can be a difficult time for those of us struggling with mental health conditions. In an effort to promote mental wellness in our communities, Creative Care would like to share the benefits of a gratitude practice. Furthermore, we would like to offer some strategies for spreading that gratitude among your loved ones this holiday season.
The Benefits of a Gratitude Practice
Research has shown gratitude practices produce positive changes in mental health. For example, a 2003 study by Emmons and McCullough examined the effects of keeping a gratitude journal or an “aggravation journal” versus a control group. One group wrote down five things for which they were grateful over the course of nine weeks. Similarly, another group wrote five things that aggravated them over the same period. Finally, a third recorded neutral life events. Those who kept the gratitude journal reported an increased optimism, an increased sense of well-being, and increased positive social behavior. Additionally, similar studies revealed improved sleep, enhanced self-esteem, and alleviation in symptoms of depression. Furthermore, gratitude can promote better physical health as those practicing it report feeling fewer aches and pains and are more likely to exercise regularly.
Getting Involved This Holiday Season
While a gratitude journal is an excellent means of attending to one’s personal mental health, the holiday season presents an opportunity to pass positive benefits along to your loved ones. If you’re hosting or attending a gathering this year, consider adding some group activities to get everyone involved and reflecting upon gratitude. For example, you might try a “gratitude registry.” Like a guest registry, everyone signs in upon arrival and, in this case, will add something for which they are grateful. At dinner, each entry can be read aloud. Conversely, you could make a game of it with “Gratitude Guess Who”. Everyone writes something they’re grateful for on a slip of paper and placed in a basket. Next, guests can take turns drawing from the basket and guessing which reflection belongs to which guest. Have fun with it! It’s a simple way to promote gratitude, conversation, and connection.
Innovative, Creative Care
Since 1989, Creative Care has been an oasis for individuals who need cutting-edge, innovative care with the extra support, accountability, and direction to heal. We are ready to listen and every client who walks through our doors gets a comprehensive assessment upon admission. Additionally, a mental health treatment plan may include:
- Individual counseling
- Psychiatric visits
- Family or couples therapy
- Art therapy
- Nutrition group
- Equine group
- Yoga and other relaxation therapy
If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, please consider reaching out to Creative Care. Begin your journey to recovery today.