It's hard to believe a study was needed. Positive experiences reduce depression. Who wouldda thunk it?
Alexa Stuifbergen of the University of Texas and Lorraine Phillips of the University of Missouri conducted a study that found increasing positive experiences decreased depression symptoms in MSers. Although MSers typically rate their quality of life lower than the general population, that changes when positive experiences are introduced into their daily lives.
Now, here's what I found really interesting. Let's define "positive experience." A vacation in Hawaii sounds pretty positive. However, it may also add stress and make you really tired, and how many times can you go to Hawaii anyway?
Stuifbergen and Phillips found simple things like smelling flowers and saying "thank you" were positive enough to increase their quality of life perceptions. We often have fresh flowers and pay attention to those courtesies and we are doing just fine, thank you.