Why Expressing Gratitude Is Important
You can be grateful, thankful, or appreciative when you acknowledge the benefits that you have gained from someone or something else. Whatever you call it, studies show that expressing gratitude can cause a serious boost in happiness. In addition, it can create higher quality relationships with your partner, friends, and family.
Expressing gratitude can boost your happiness. Dr. Martin Seligman, a leading researcher in the field of positive psychology, found that when people wrote and personally delivered letters thanking them for their kindness, they experienced a huge increase in happiness. This boost in positive feelings lasted for over a month.
Expressing gratitude can benefit your romantic relationships as well. Dr. Sara Algoe¬†has shown that couples who express their gratitude towards their partners are more satisfied with their relationships. They are also more likely to remain in those relationships nine months down the line.
You can think of gratitude as a simple “thank you” after your friend or partner does something considerate. You can also use this as an opportunity to think about what makes your friend or partner so wonderful in the first place. Either way, expressing gratitude inwardly or outwardly is highly beneficial.
How to Cultivate Gratitude
Keep a gratitude journal.¬†You can get into the habit of writing five-ten things you are grateful for each night before bed. It may be hard to think of things at first, but it becomes easier.
Thank someone out loud.¬†Telling your partner, friend, or family member that they are valued by thanking them after they do something for you is easy. It may require that you be more conscious of your reactions, but soon it should become second nature.
Write a thank you card.¬†If you have trouble telling people how valued they are in person, you may want to think of writing them a letter. Through this medium, you can clearly articulate how much you appreciate them.