Expressing and receiving gratitude - Deepstash

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The Psychology of Giving Thanks

Expressing and receiving gratitude

Expressing gratitude can make you a better person. According to research, gratitude has a dampening effect on certain morally questionable behaviours. Gratitude also evokes a cooperative response.

When someone is receiving gratitude , the need to be competent and the need to feel connected are fulfilled. If someone helps you, be sure to express your appreciation - it will make your helper feel capable and valued, and will increase the odds that they will help more people.

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Gratitude meaning

Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. 

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Write a thank-you note

You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person's impact on your life. 

Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. 

Thank someone mentally

No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you and mentally thank the individual.

Thank You!

Being thankful and saying thanks to others is good for our health and happiness, and helps build trust.

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The Witness To Gratitude

Studies show that people who witness the act of gratitude get affected positively towards the grateful person as well as the person who is being thanked (benefactor).

They see the grateful person as someone who is kind, and who notices when other people do kind things and takes the time to acknowledge them, making them socially desirable. People also warm up towards the person that is receiving the gratitude, as it is signaled as a person who is effective at being supportive or helpful.

Saying Thanks More Often

Expressing more gratitude works, and more so if done in a demonstrative way, with a hug or flowers.

A sincere thanks benefit our social connections in the entire group or circle.

Gratitude raises our happiness
Gratitude raises our happiness

We don't have to feel grateful in order to give thanks. Acting grateful can make you grateful.

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Research on gratitude

Studies consistently show that the people practicing gratitude enjoy significantly greater life satisfaction than those who don't.

One explanation is that acting happy, regardless of feelings, encourages the brain into processing positive emotions. Gratitude stimulates the hypothalamus (a part that regulates stress), and the ventral tegmental area (a part that produces the sensation of pleasure.)

Strategies for practicing gratitude
  • Start with interior gratitude - giving thanks privately. Then move to exterior gratitude, which focuses on public expression.
  • Regularly express gratitude in letters to loved ones and colleagues, thanking them for what they do.
  • Be grateful for the little things you experience, the smell of fall in the air, a song that brings back good memories.