There’s a warm feeling we get when being thanked. But we can also experience considerable benefits when we express gratitude.
The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley published a paper about gratitude in 2018. They found that gratitude can lead to the following benefits:
• Higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction
• Less concern with materialism
• Improved physical and mental wellbeing
• Better sleep
• Less inflammation
• Enhanced relationships
• A more generous and helpful lifestyle.
A leading researcher in positive psychology, conducted a study where participants wrote and delivered a gratitude letter to someone they hadn’t properly thanked. He found that participants experienced a large increase in happiness with the effects continuing over the next month. This exercise is known as the ‘gratitude visit’ and is recognised as a powerful way to boost happiness.
Here are some other ways you can express gratitude:
• Make a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for each day in a journal
• Say thank you when someone does something nice or helpful
• Meditate on things you are grateful for
• Reflect on a positive event in your life and think about what your life would be like if it hadn’t happened – this can help you to appreciate it more.
It takes very little to express your gratitude, but it can have a powerful impact.