Gratitude and Positive Reframing
Research has found that gratitude is related to various benefits including psychological wellbeing and positive social relationships. Gratitude can also prompt the use of positive reframing, which means viewing a problem or negative experience in a new, more positive way. Taking time to be grateful does not mean you become overly positive and ignore problems that may exist. It is really about trying to ensure attention is given to things that are going well – even when stress or problems may be present.
Note: It is not recommended that this strategy be used for trauma without the guidance of a qualified mental health professional.
Things to consider…
- Expressing gratitude to a family member or friend.
- Thinking of opportunities instead of hassles when reflecting on an event or situation.
- Answering the following questions:
- What can I learn from this experience?
Is this situation allowing me to gain new knowledge or practice a new skill?
Could this be an opportunity to strengthen a relationship?1
References for this page (click to expand)
1Lambert, L. M., Graham, S. M., & Stillman, T. F. (2009). A changed perspective: How gratitude can affect sense of coherence through positive reframing. Journal of Positive Psychology, 4(6): 461–470). https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1080/17439760903157182
2Algoe, S. B., Haidt, J., & Gable, S. L. (2008). Beyond reciprocity: Gratitude and relationships in everyday life. Emotion, 8(3), 425–429. https://doi.org/10.1037/1528-35184.108.40.2065
Lambert, N. M., Fincham, F. D., & Stillman, T. F. (2012). Gratitude and depressive symptoms: The role of positive reframing and positive emotion. Cognition & Emotion, 26(4), 615-633. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2011.595393
Wood, A. M., Froh, J. J., & Geraghty, A. W. A. (2010). Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(7), 890–905. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2010.03.005