Ex­press your­self!

Show­ing grat­i­tude is more po­tent than you think

Spirit and Destiny - - Real Lives -

Are­cent study has found that peo­ple un­der­es­ti­mate the pos­i­tive feel­ings that say­ing thank you can gen­er­ate.

Car­ried out by the Univer­sity of Chicago, re­searchers con­ducted three ex­per­i­ments in which par­tic­i­pants wrote let­ters ex­press­ing grat­i­tude and then pre­dicted how sur­prised, happy or awk­ward the re­cip­i­ents would feel.

Re­sults showed peo­ple un­der­es­ti­mated how sur­prised re­cip­i­ents would be, over­es­ti­mated how awk­ward they would feel, and un­der­es­ti­mated how pos­i­tive they would feel.

The re­search also found that ex­press­ing grat­i­tude in a hand­writ­ten note gave a pos­i­tive boost to emo­tions in both the writer and re­cip­i­ent.

‘We looked at what's cor­re­lat­ing with peo­ple's like­li­hood of ex­press­ing grat­i­tude. What we found is that predictions or ex­pec­ta­tions of that awk­ward­ness, that an­tic­i­pa­tion of how a re­cip­i­ent would feel, those are the things that mat­ter when peo­ple are de­cid­ing whether to ex­press grat­i­tude or not,’ said lead re­searcher Amit Ku­mar. ‘What we saw is that it only takes a cou­ple of min­utes to com­pose let­ters like these. It comes at lit­tle cost, but the ben­e­fits are larger than peo­ple ex­pect.’

Amit hopes that by mak­ing peo­ple aware of the pos­i­tive ben­e­fits of writ­ing a thank-you note it will in­spire oth­ers to reach for their pen and pa­per.

More info A Sim­ple Act of Grat­i­tude: How Learn­ing to Say Thank You Changed My Life by John Kra­lik is pub­lished by Ha­chette Books.

‘The ben­e­fits are larger than peo­ple ex­pect’

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