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Friday, November 28, 2008

Improving Happiness & Satisfaction By Being More Openly Grateful

In an article in The Science Daily News research results are reported indicating that by being openly grateful in writing to someone who has had a positive effect on your life, tends to increase your levels of happiness and satisfaction.

Dr. Steven Toepfer from Kent State University "enlisted students from six courses to explore the effects of writing letters of gratitude to people who had positively impacted the students' lives. Over the course of a six-week period, students wrote one letter every two weeks with the simple ground rules that it had to be positively expressive, required some insight and reflection, were nontrivial and contained a high level of appreciation or gratitude."

"After each letter, students completed a survey to gauge their moods, satisfaction with life and feelings of gratitude and happiness."

"I saw their happiness increase after each letter, meaning the more they wrote, the better they felt," says Toepfer, who also witnessed improvement in participants' life satisfaction and gratitude throughout the study. "The most powerful thing in our lives is our social network. It doesn't have to be large, and you don't always need to be the life of the party, but just having one or two significant connections in your life has shown to have terrific psychological and physical benefits."

read entire article here

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