Thank You Notes Promote Happiness

I add self-esteem and gratitude activities to many of my advising appointments to promote mental health. Studies show folks who give thanks tend to be happier and experiences less stress. I encourage most students to write down a few attributes about themselves on a mirror to reinforce truths about who they are. In addition, I ask students to write down three things they are thankful for during our academic advising session. This simple act allows students to pause and reflect; it also opens the door for communication. As an academic advisor, I intentionally engage with students in hopes of building a relationships where trust and transparent conversations can arise. When students write down and share with me the three things in their lives they are thankful for it cultivates open dialogue.

A recent study involving college students examined the impact of gratitude on mental health. The researchers randomly assigned students into three groups who had all signed up for mental health counseling at the college counseling center. Students in group one were asked to write a gratitude letter to an individual once a week for three weeks. Those in group two were advised to jot down their feelings and deepest thoughts in regards to negative experiences. Finally, the last group did not participate in any writing activities and only received counseling. Students who wrote letters of gratitude reported better mental health than the other two groups one month later. In addition, the results were still in effect 3 months after the activities had taken place.  

Write a Thank You note to your Mom

See if this works in your life and write someone a thank you note today. Give it a try for the next three weeks and see what happens. Spread a little happiness!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *