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In long-term relationships, it can sometimes appear that there is little gratitude between the people involved. In the midst of the rigors of daily life, it is easy to take someone else’s favors or generosity for granted. Having dinner most evenings, making the bed every morning, cleaning the floor, or making medical appointments for children are all necessary actions that can feel routine, even if they deserve real gratitude.

If simply saying “thank you” is an obligation that sounds sacred to your partner, consider a thank you letter instead. Finding unexpected praise – whether under your pillow or in some other smart, strategic location – can do wonders for your interpersonal relationship, especially if a partner has been feeling particularly unsung recently.

Gratitude is good for your sanity

Feeling that your hard work has gone unnoticed can lead to resentment. However, when gratitude is expressed – even for seemingly minor deeds – the opposite happens, creating mutual happiness for both parties. Sara B. Algoe, a social psychologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has studied how gratitude works in romantic and platonic relationships.

Speak with Live happily in 2017Algoe outlined a relatable scenario for everyone in a committed relationship. She hypothetically stated that when someone’s wife (or partner) “did something nice [her husband]Just because she wanted, “and then the husband, acknowledging her act of kindness,” replied, “two people win for one person’s gratitude. “The husband feels recognized for his contributions, while the wife, who went out of their way to express grace for fun, has infused their relationship with an air of positivity – which can go a long way.

Years of research has shown that regular expressions of thanks improve overall mental well-being and, in particular, help people sleep better and lead more energetic lives. And while more research is needed to determine whether gratitude can bring physical health benefits, there is evidence to suggest that it can. Jeff Human, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, told UC Berkeley in 2018:

Gratitude … can be an incredibly powerful and invigorating experience. There is growing evidence that gratitude doesn’t just make feelings good. It could lead to better health.

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Thank you letters are a fantastic surprise

Gratitude is even better when it comes to a surprise. Personally, I like the idea of ​​leaving a thank you note under your partner’s pillow, in their dresser drawer, or in some other unlikely place. Especially if your partner had a bad day, the appearance of a few exuberant words can only lighten their mood.

However, it doesn’t necessarily matter how you express your thank you This hanging up holds most people back express thanks more often when it is earned. Don’t worry so much about it; The most important thing is to say thank you. Write for Fast company In 2019, Lydia Dishman paraphrased the results of a 2018 study published in the Journal Psychological scienceand makes it clear that it is not so much the content of a thank you letter that matters, but the gesture itself that counts:

Finding the right words shouldn’t be a problem, researchers say, as long as the phrase is authentic. They also found that those who wrote the gratitude letters consistently reported being more positive, which underscores existing research on the mood-enhancing effects of thanks.

The power of this gesture also applies to businesses, romantic relationships, and friendships. Given the minimal amount of work involved in writing a thank you letter and the tremendous benefits it can bring, it is a good habit to do so. (I don’t have to thank you for suggesting it.)