How well do positive psychology exercises help improve people’s lives? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Identifying good things in your life, using your strengths in new ways, and practicing gratitude all help people improve resilience, studies find. Karen Swartz, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, says results were seen with very modest effort on the part of study participants.

Swartz: Interestingly in this study they did these simple positive psychology exercises for only one week. doing those for one week led to an improvement in happiness scores that lasted at follow up at one, three and six months. One of the things that I’ve been talking about extensively during the pandemic is practicing gratitude. Among these positive psychology exercises I think it’s the one that is most straightforward and also one of the most effective. Taking time, often at the end of the day, to reflect on things you’re grateful for, is tremendously helpful.  :33

Swartz says although these exercises sound simple they do work, so she encourages people to try them and see for themselves. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.