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Have you written your thank-you letters yet? No, I don’t mean a text or an email but an actual letter?
I consider it a vital part of the post-Christmas ritual, although I know many people regard it as an outdated practice.
Appreciation - Someone - Thoughtfulness - Manners - Boost
But showing your appreciation for someone’s thoughtfulness is more than just good manners, it’s a boost to one’s mental health, too. Psychologists call it ‘gratitude therapy’ and it helps us focus on the pluses in our lives, and the people who love us enough to give us gifts.
It has grown out of a branch of psychotherapy called ‘positive psychology’, which represents a shift from traditional approaches that tend to focus on the problems in our lives.
Positive - Psychology - Contrast - Stuff - Things
Positive psychology, in contrast, is all about exploring the good stuff — the things we should be grateful for.
If this sounds a bit new age and somewhat un-British to you, I sympathise. The approach has rather been hijacked by U.S. therapists and given a bit of nauseating spin.
Result - Media - Posts - People - Thanks
As a result, we see endless saccharine social media posts from people giving thanks for everything from the cream in their coffee, to a sunbeam, or the puppy they saw on their way to work.
This detracts from the sound psychological theory underpinning gratitude therapy, which is so much more than a schmaltzy slogan on a fridge magnet. Studies have shown a robust association between high levels of gratitude and long-term mental well-being.
Levels - Emotions - Anger - Frustration - Envy
It works on several levels. By focusing on the positive, we reduce toxic emotions such as anger, frustration, envy and regret. Research shows that saying thank you helps solidify friendships, improves empathy and reduces interpersonal conflict.
It can also lead to new relationships — increasing one’s social networks and boosting mood.
Sort - Strength - Self-pity - People - Gratitude
Developing this sort of mental strength helps limit self-pity. This is because people who express gratitude are less...
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Democrate or Republican, the difference is less than the thickness of a cigarette paper, or a slice of pastrami at a delicatesean.