As this first week of the new year progresses, I’ve launched a new experiment.
Neuroscience research from one of my favorite writers, Eric Barker, that says that there’s a simple way to increase your happiness and productivity while also improving your relationships.
And it only takes 2 minutes.
What is this simple happiness booster?
Send a “Thank You” Email
Each morning, send an email or text to a friend, family member or co-worker to say thanks for something.
Research shows that writing letters of gratitude increase happiness and life satisfaction while also decreasing depressive symptoms.
It also cements relationships.
So this new year, I’ve started writing quick thank you emails or cards to those who I am truly grateful to for business or personal reasons.
Has it increased my happiness?
Yes. I can visualize the person opening it and smiling.
Some people might even be surprised. And as I continue on my gratitude campaign, I’m looking forward to reconnecting with all the great people I know (or used to know).
It’ll be interesting to see how people react. I certainly hope it will brighten others’ days.
In a world where people complain much more than they appreciate, I think that this gratitude experiment will improve my relationships. Most of all, I’m looking forward to expressing all the good things I think about people but may never have the chance to say to them.
When I was in college, we had a year-end activity with one of the groups I was in. Each person wrote their name on a blank white piece of paper. Then, the group of 30+ people passed around the papers, writing one thing that we liked or appreciated about each person on their paper.
The words of gratitude that people wrote on that blank paper was was incredibly meaningful to me, and I especially enjoyed the insights and compliments from the “quiet” people who observe more than they speak. I was one of the leaders of this group, and I had invested a lot of my time to make this group organized and successful over several years. That day confirmed that my efforts had impact and value… and my time was well-spent.
Many years have passed, and I have moved several times, but I still have that piece of paper filled with words of gratitude.
I hope my gratitude experiment has the same powerful impact.
The hardest part to this experiment is to stop after one gratitude note. I’ve already made a list of all the people I want to write, and it’s a project that I’m looking forward to working on every day.
This article is also published on Linkedin Pulse.
If you’d like to read more on this topic, check out: http://www.bakadesuyo.com
Thanks to Mike Gnuckx for use of his image.