PEOPLE are being urged to scrawl on a wall in a bid to boost their happiness.
Research at Coventry University showed how encouraging people to write down what they were grateful for actually helped make them happier.
And members of the public will be able to put the findings to the test on a mobile ‘gratitude wall’ which will be at Market Hall Museum in Warwick throughout November.
The project was prompted by research which suggested taking part in such activities increased happiness and reduced anxiety and depression.
The university’s own research on the topic looked at how participants on its HOPE programmes, which support parents of children with autism and also people living with cancer and multiple sclerosis, had benefited from expressing gratitude during their six-week course.
Participants completed a regular gratitude diary and filled in surveys at the start and end of the course to determine how grateful and positive they were feeling.
The results showed they felt more positive and able to cope better with their situations after regularly filling in the gratitude diary.
Researchers wanted to reach a wider audience in an effort to boost more people’s positivity – and worked with CU Social Enterprise, which supports community-focused initiatives – to develop the wall.
The 4.8m by 1.2m chalkboard made its debut at Coventry’s Godiva Festival in July, when more than 1,100 people left messages to say what they were grateful for that day.
Volunteers will be with the wall at the museum and the team eventually hope to do further research to see how people writing messages on the wall have benefited from the experience.
Andy Turner, professor of health psychology at Coventry University’s Centre for Research in Advances in Behavioural Science, said:
“We saw from our HOPE courses that regularly expressing gratitude was a really popular and effective activity. It helped refocus people who were in a negative cycle.
“The gratitude wall is not only easy and fun to do, it’s rooted in scientific research.”
Gabriela Matouskova, business delivery manager at CU Social Enterprise, was looking forward to visiting Warwick.
She added: “The gratitude wall is so visual and interactive and anyone can use it.
“When we’ve taken it out before, the messages people have written and the conversations we’ve had with them have often been very powerful.”