The Ripple Effects of a Thank You
Being thankful and saying thanks to others is good for our health and happiness, and helps build trust.
Normally, the act of saying thanks is observed as a two-person exchange, the person giving thanks and the one receiving it. New studies reveal that the benefits spread beyond the two people involved.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Spend 5 to 10 minutes at the end of each day writing in detail about three things that went well that day, large or small, and also describing why you think they happened.
This simple practice is effective because it not only helps you remember and appreciate good things that happened in the past; it can also teach you to notice and savor positive events as they happen.
You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone.
Consider the many ways in which important, positive events in your life—such as a job opportunity or educational achievement—could have never taken place, and then reflecting on what your life would be like without them.
We have a tendency to adapt to pleasurable things—a phenomenon called “hedonic adaptation”—and appreciate them less and less over time.
We can interrupt this process by trying the Give it Up practice, which requires temporarily giving up pleasurable activities and then coming back to them later, this time with greater anticipation and excitement.
How do we become virtuous?
Virtue comes from living an examined life - one where deep deliberation leads to holding on to noble qualities such as honesty and generosity, regardless of how difficult it can be to do them.
While one can take the time to pursue virtue deliberately, Cicero states that by cultivating gratitude, other virtues will grow.
Gratitude encourages people to repay debts. The more gratitude people feel toward those who have helped them, the more diligently they will work to return the favour.
When you want to repay someone you have to forgo your own immediate needs in service of someone else. This action boils down to self-control.
For instance, when you are grateful that a friend helped you to move to a new apartment, you are more likely to return the favor, even if you have to forgo something you looked forward to.
In a study published in Psychological Science, participants were presented with temptation. Those who recalled a time when they felt grateful were more likely to act in an honest manner than those who described a time when they felt happy or neutral.
People who feel grateful are more likely to help others, divide their profits and be loyal even at a cost to themselves.
Gratitude isn’t just a practice of saying thank you, but also the process of focusing your attention away from problems and danger and onto things which are good.
It takes a lot of practice to make gratitude a habit, because our mind are usually powerful problem detectors.
Since gratitude is a relative experience, it’s often useful to recognize how many things aren’t problems in your life, but you just never notice them.
Even if you feel like you don’t live in great conditions, that your friends have better jobs and relationships there were many points in time when things could have been much, much worse.
The next time you think the average person is better off than you, ask yourself whether you might not simply be ignoring the problems and pains of others, simply because they aren’t as visible as the success people want you to see.