Gratitude is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as the state of being grateful or thankfulness.  Have you heard others talk about having an attitude of gratitude recently? If so, then you have probably heard how science is proving that gratitude is good for you. A 2003 study by Emmons and McCullough found that gratitude is effective in increasing well-being as it builds psychological, social, and spiritual resources. In short, when people reflect on the nice things done for them or the benefits they have received, they feel loved by others.  Furthermore, gratitude helps one to build friendships and solidify social bonds. A quick google search will generate several ways in which a person can demonstrate gratitude to others.  The results almost always include: write a thank you note. 

A study published in Psychological Science in June of 2018 reveals that people often misinterpret how a thank you note will be received by others.  In this study, a hundred participants were asked to write letters of gratitude to someone whom they were thankful for, such as a friend or teacher.  The researchers observed that each letter took each person less than five minutes to generate.  The participants were then asked to rate how the recipients would most likely feel upon receipt of the note.  According to The New York Times science reporter, Heather Murphy, most people were “ecstatic” about receiving their thank you note.  The recipients actually rated their happiness at a level of 4 or 5.  This exceeding the predicted reponse that the participants gave of a 3.

Where am I going with this? It’s simple.  Write thank you notes!  People are very happy to receive them. You improve your own well-being when you focus on gratitude and write them.  It’s a win for everyone.  They still matter, people love them, and they don’t take long to produce.  So, now you know the interesting truth about a thank you note.