November 15, 2018 | Categories: Mental Health
Talk about a win-win situation: When you express gratitude to those you love, not only do they feel good hearing it, but you actually get a health boost just by saying thanks, finds new research.
In a study published in the journal Emotion a few years ago, researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC) examined the role of gratitude in building and strengthening social bonds among metastatic breast cancer patients.
“One of the things we know is that there is a robust link between perceiving high-quality social support, and mental and physical health outcomes and longevity,” says study author Sara Algoe, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at UNC.
Study subjects filled out an initial questionnaire about the support they perceived in their social networks, their levels of gratitude for helpful friends and family members, as well as how likely they were to verbalize that thankfulness.
After three months, researchers polled the women again: Those who’d initially felt significant gratitude, and were willing to convey those emotions to others, experienced a notable increase in their feelings of social support.
“When someone does something for you and you feel really grateful for that, make sure that they know how wonderful you think they are,” says Algoe. “Holding back on that emotion is holding back on yourself.”
So this Thanksgiving, in between the bites of pie and sips of wine, don’t forget to tell those you love just how grateful they make you feel.
Read the full article on Prevention.com.
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