How Caregivers Can Benefit from the Positive Effects of Gratitude in 21 Days

positive effects of gratitude

Gratitude + journaling = reduced caregiver stress

Caregiver stress is unavoidable when you’re caring for an older adult. But there are ways to keep it from becoming overwhelming.

Two effective methods are to practice gratitude and to keep a journal.

We found a way to combine these two stress management techniques into one simple activity – the free UC Berkeley Thnx4 21 day gratitude journal challenge. A shorter 10 day “intensive” challenge is also available.

We explain how gratitude and journaling reduce caregiver stress and improve health and well-being as well as how the Thx4 gratitude challenge works.



Why gratitude and journaling are so helpful

Gratitude reduces caregiver stress because it helps you notice the positives in life, even in the middle of tough times. Practicing gratitude can lower stress, boost mood, protect from depression, improve sleep, boost immune system, and more.

Journaling is another powerful way to reduce caregiver stress. Getting thoughts and feelings down on paper and out of your head has been shown to improve health as well as help with problem-solving and decision-making.

Putting those two things together gives you the benefits of both in one simple activity!


How the Thnx4 21 day gratitude challenge works

Thnx4 is an online gratitude journal where you record what you’re grateful for. You can choose for your entries to be private or public.

UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center created the Thnx4 project to help people lead healthier, happier lives. It’s based on 20 years of research showing that people who regularly feel grateful see positive results, including:

  • Better health – for example: reduced risk of heart disease
  • Better sleep
  • Less anxiety
  • More joy and optimism

Once you register, the 21-day gratitude challenge (or 10-day intensive) starts with a pre-challenge survey that measures your social and emotional well-being. All the survey and other responses are kept completely confidential.

For the 21-day challenge, you’ll get an email every other day for 3 weeks that invites you to record and share what you felt grateful for recently. For the 10-day intensive, you’ll get an email daily on weekdays for 2 weeks.

Every time you make an entry in your online gratitude journal, you can choose to keep that entry private or make it public.

At the end of the challenge, you’ll take a final survey to see how your levels of gratitude and well-being have changed over time.

When the challenge is over, you can choose if you’d like to keep getting email reminders to use Thnx4 – daily, weekly, monthly, or never.


Get inspired and uplifted by the public gratitude journal

Even if you don’t participate in the challenge, you can read the Thnx4 public journal to see the grateful moments that other people have chosen to share. Their entries might inspire you to notice more positive things in your life and feel gratitude.


Next Step  Try the free 10- or 21-day gratitude challenge from Thnx4 at UC Berkeley


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: YourLifeChoices


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