“I just have this feeling that gratitude is going to prove to be really an important coping tool during this time.”
Giphy/US National Archives
In a 2007 study, Watkins found that writing about these memories with a focus on gratitude helped give people a sense of closure. Participants also reported fewer unpleasant emotions tied to these memories post-intervention.
The idea is to reveal the happiness we often overlook.
In a 2011 study, Watkins asked students to vividly imagine their own deaths in a house fire. At the end of the exercise, students reported feeling more grateful.
Even for life itself.