An Experiment In Gratitude
What makes you happy? Have you ever thought about what exactly it is?
Recently, psychologists have scientifically proven that one of the greatest contributing factors to overall happiness in your life is how much gratitude you show. The SoulPancake team decided that it would be a great idea to test this out.
They began by gauging the happiness of a group of volunteers before asking them to think of someone who was truly influential and important in their lives. The volunteers then wrote down as much as they could about why this person was so important. After this moment is when the true experiment took shape.
SoulPancake gave the volunteers a telephone and had them call up the person they had written about. Each person read his or her statement directly to whoever they had found most important; the reactions were extraordinary. Tears were shed, laughing erupted, and a few people got the chance to reconnect with friends and family they had been separated from by time and distance.
One volunteer, breaking down crying, read aloud, “Erica is my older sister and my best friend. Sometimes it even feels like we are twins. She is my number one fan and my number one supporter. She makes me happy because despite all my mistakes and all my decisions, she still loves me no matter what. I will never forget when she flew three thousand miles at the drop of a phone call to save me from a breakup.” The immense feeling behind this display of gratitude was palpable and the sisters’ connection shined through, even over the phone.
After the phone calls, one final aspect of the experiment remained: testing the volunteers’ happiness levels a second time. Rewording the test so they weren’t aware it was the same thing, host Julian notes that, even for the few individuals who could not reach the object of their gratitude, happiness levels increased between 2 and 4%. Simply thinking about and writing these notions down made a small difference.
However, the volunteers who got to express themselves personally found increases of happiness between 4 and 19%, a substantial difference.
The most notable finding was that the person who walked in with the lowest happiness levels had the biggest jump after the experiment. What you can take away from this is that, if you’re having a particularly down day, or a really tough time, trying this exercise in gratitude will more than likely have a great impact on you.
So, show your gratitude to someone important in your life, someone who deserves it. You’ll both feel better off. It’s scientifically proven!
Powered by Facebook Comments