Spread some happiness …

All we seem to hear these days is bad news–wild fires, heat waves, droughts, politics, greed, corruption, discrimination, low wages, stress, unhappiness …

So, make a little bit of an effort today and make someone happy.

A recent study looking at the reasons “why so few people actually send thank yous” found “that many people totally miscalibrate the effect of an appreciative email.  They underestimate the positive feelings it will bring.”  People “also overestimate how insincere the note may appear and how uncomfortable it will make the recipient feel.”  People are also concerned about the quality of their writing being judged.

In the study, participants wrote a short “gratitude letter” that, in most cases, took less than 5 minutes to write.  The people receiving the letters then filled out a questionnaire about how it felt to receive the note.

The people receiving the notes expressed a noticeably higher rating of happiness than the senders predicted.  Plus, the receivers didn’t care about the quality of the writing, they cared about “warmth.”

“People tend to undervalue the positive effect they can have on others for a tiny investment of time.”  So, send a thank you note, tell someone that you appreciate them.  Make another person–and yourself–feel good.  Spread some happiness …

Read the article (Heather Murphy, New York Times, July 20, 2018).


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