Good morning, afternoon, evening, or whenever it is that you’re reading this. It could be in the middle of the night for all I know! In fact, I might be glad that someone else sometimes stays up all night to peruse the internet from time to time. We all do it; I won’t judge.
Given that it’s the week before Thanksgiving, I thought it would be the perfect time to delve into some psychology. Positive psychology is the study of psychology where, instead of studying what makes humans unhappy and different, it focuses on what makes us happier. Gratitude is a large part of positive psychology.
I saw this clip below a few years ago, and it was brought back to my attention when my professor mentioned it a few weeks ago. The goal of this study was to prove a correlation between expressing gratitude and personal happiness. In the study, the participants wrote a letter to a person who greatly impacted their lives. They then called up that person and read them the letter. Some of the reactions are truly magical.
Expressing gratitude not only makes those around you happy, but it can also boost your personal happiness up to 14% as seen in the study linked above.
When do you think about expressing gratitude? What about at the dinner table? How about after receiving a present or a compliment? What about expressing gratitude on a daily basis? This could have numerous benefits for your overall happiness. When was the last time you were grateful for something? Even something at the base of the pyramid of needs, such as a roof over your head or food on the table. Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook the simple things. However, it’s also important to remember people. Did your professor give a great lecture today? Why not go up and tell them that. I can guarantee you that it will make you feel better, as well as making their day better. It’s a win-win situation!
I try to make it a point to write down, or at least think about, several gratitudes every night before I go to sleep. It makes it easier for me to fall asleep because I’m winding down and focusing on my day and not the future. It doesn’t matter what you’re grateful for, just that you find time to relax and express the gratitude.
Do you give gratitude at any time throughout the year? Tell me your thoughts below in the comments!