One of the most powerful ways to amplify the positive effects of keeping a gratitude journal (Wikipedia) is to share your appreciation for others. This can be done by simply reaching out to the loved ones around you and thanking them for being they wonderful person they are. Kind gestures such as thank-you letters, phone calls, and dinners have a profound effect on both the giver and receiver.
Dr. Martin Seligman is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. In a placebo controlled empirical study, Dr. Seligman confirmed the effect of sharing gratitude. In his experiment, participants were given a week to compose and deliver a letter of gratitude to a person who had been kind to them, but had not been thanked. The gratitude visit was composed of four steps:
- Think of someone who has done something wonderful for you, but who had not been property thanked
- Reflect on the benefits you received from this person and record it in a gratitude journal
- Write a letter of gratitude, expressing thanks for all he or she has done for you
- Arrange a time to deliver the letter and spend some time with this person
The results were profound. Participants reported increased happiness for a month after the gratitude visit.
Gratitude Journey Update:
Acknowledging the many requests from the Gratitude Journey fan base, Prana to the People has committed to upgrading our app to support sharing functions. This will include Facebook posts and emailing. This new feature will offer users an opportunity to share their gratitude with others and increase the happiness of their communities. This update is planned for release mid-2013.