Does that sound familiar: you get up in the morning, change from pyjamas into sweatpants to get ready for a typical home office day with one online meeting after the other, you cook the same meals over and over again, watch TV or Netflix as always – and the day is already over? At some point you may feel stuck – like going round in cycles. This could result in frustration, a decrease in perceived self-efficacy and motivation. Accordingly, since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, many people have reported a decrease in mental health accompanied by feelings of stress mainly due to facing higher levels of uncertainty.
Because it has been shown that gratitude has the potential to improve mental health especially during stressful times – could it also help to beat the corona blues? Jiang (2020) conducted an online study in which 231 participants from China (aged 18-85 years) completed a diary on a daily basis for 14 days. Gratitude, as well as positive and negative affect, subjective health and perceived stress related to covid-19 were measured. Results show that (more) gratitude is associated with higher levels of positive affect and lower levels of negative affect. However, the direction of this link needs to be further investigated.
Nevertheless, because there is evidence for beneficial effects of practicing gratitude in daily life, such as reducing stress and anxiety which are commonly experienced during the current pandemic, it may be worth to make gratitude a daily habit and see what happens – let´s give it a try!
Jiang D. (2020). Feeling Gratitude is Associated with Better Well-being across the Life Span: A Daily Diary Study during the COVID-19 Outbreak. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences, gbaa220. Advance online publication. https://doi-org.mu.idm.oclc.org/10.1093/geronb/gbaa220