Objective: To examine the efficacy of two dual-component interventions, one based on mindfulness and one based on gratitude, to reduce depression and stress and increase happiness levels.
Design: Randomized, controlled study with data collected at baseline, 3 weeks, and 5 weeks.
Settings: Participants completed an online gratitude or mindfulness intervention at home. Self-report questionnaires were completed at home or at work.
Participants: Sixty-five women aged 18-46 years (mean age±standard deviation, 28.35±6.65 years).
Interventions: Participants were randomly assigned to a wait-list control condition or to either a gratitude or a mindfulness intervention condition. The interventions were used four times a week for 3 weeks. The gratitude intervention involved a gratitude diary and grateful reflection. The mindfulness intervention involved a mindfulness diary and mindfulness meditation, the Body Scan.
Outcome measures: The outcome variables were depression, stress, and happiness measured by using the Edinburgh Depression Scale, the Perceived Stress Scale, and the Subjective Happiness Scale, respectively.
Results: All outcome variables improved over time in both interventions group but not in the wait-list control group. Efficacy of the interventions differed between the interventions.
Conclusions: These short novel interventions seem to provide a useful way to enhance well-being. Further research in the area is warranted.