Expressing Gratitude Can Increase Your Sense of Joy, According to a New Survey

The study participants appreciated a verbal "thank you" the most from others.

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Photo: MoMo Productions / Getty Images

We derive happiness from a myriad of things, from baking and spending time in nature to passing time with our families, but according to a new survey, expressing gratitude each and every day might make us more joyful overall. The study, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Motivosity, examined how 2,000 Americans felt about their lives. Nearly 65% of survey respondents who said that they were "very happy" on a regular basis also said that they practiced sharing their gratitude consistently.

The findings noted that the happiest participants generally expressed their thankfulness to and for other people almost every day; on average, all respondents practiced sharing their gratitude six times per month. According to the study, reaping the joy-boosting benefits of expressing your gratitude isn't complicated: Over 40% of the survey's participants thought that offering a simple "thank you" was most meaningful, as they appreciated this form of gratitude the most.

Volunteers noted how they like to receive gratitude, as well: 21% enjoyed getting a handwritten thank-you note, while 17% preferred gifts. And out of all the people in their lives, participants said they get the most gratitude from their spouses or partners (28%); family members (26%), and friends (24%).

"There's a dramatic correlation between gratitude and happiness," said Logan Mallory, vice president of marketing at Motivosity, in a statement. "When people are proactive about being grateful, it rewires their brain to look for positives instead of the negatives around them. Previous studies and these survey results tell us that if you want to experience an increase in life satisfaction, just express gratitude more often!"

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