Two little words that have the power to change your attitude, make you smile, and bring joy to others… Two little words that your momma said was the right thing to do… Two little words that can make all the difference in the world… Can you guess what they are? I bet you’ll be surprised. Ok here ya go… “THANK YOU”. Yes those two simple words have more power than you may know.
As little girls our mothers taught us that saying “thank you” was the polite thing to do. But what mom didn’t know was the power those two little words played in our emotions.
I was curious about the origin of the words “thank you” so I did a little research:
“Thank you” derives from the word “to think”. It originally meant, “I will remember what you did for me”. The habit of saying “thank you” first began during the industrial revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. People were dependent on one another for everything. It was a time in our history when we thrived as a team.
Unfortunately today we are becoming more and more self-sufficient and feel we can make it on our own.
Did you know that the average person says “thank you” 5,000 times a year? That breaksdown to 13.7 times a day. Wow, that’s cool…right? The problem is most of those people are complete strangers. Now, don’t get me wrong, saying “thank you” in and of itself is a powerful tool, however, we just need to say it more often, and especially to those we love.
Let me share with you 5 benefits of saying “thank you.”
1. Builds Positive Emotion
People who say “thank you” experience more positive emotion, which is a key to building resilience and flourishing. They’re overall happier people. And they experience an abundance of other positive emotions, too, like love, peace, joy, enthusiasm, optimism, confidence, excitement and hope.
Two psychologists, of the University of California, Davis, have done research in the area of saying “Thank You”. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.
One group wrote about people they were thankful for. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them. After 10 weeks, those who wrote about thankfulness were more optimistic and felt better about their lives than the group that recorded irritations. Surprisingly, this group also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
2. Stops Negative Emotion
Saying “thank you”… also keeps us from negative emotions and destructive impulses like envy, bitterness, anger, resentment, greed, and you are less likely to be depressed, anxious, lonely, or envious.
A test was held on 411 students at University of Pennsylvania, They were asked to write and personally deliver a thank-you letter to someone who had never been properly thanked for his or her kindness. Results werethat the participants immediately exhibited a huge increase in emotional happiness scores.
3. Reduces Feelings of Pressure
A thankful spirit gives you the ability to cope with everyday stress—when you see out of “thankful eyes” the view is pleasant.
Researchers at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania randomly divided university fund-raisers into two groups. One group made the stressful phone calls to solicit donations in the same way they always had. The second group — assigned to work on a different day — received words of appreciation and gratitude from the director of annual giving, who told the fund-raisers she was thankful for their efforts and the school would not be the same without them. During the following week, the university employees who heard her message of thankfulness made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who did not.
4. Builds Healthy Relationships
Thankful people are attracted to other thankful people. If the people you hang out with are not happy, you need to find new friends.
Research has looked at how saying “thank you” can improve your relationships. For example, a study of couples found that individuals who took time to say thank you to their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.
5. Connection With God
People who have a thankful heart express gratitude more frequently and describe feeling more connected with God.
Psalm 107:1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Ok, here is your assignment.
Make a list of 10 people that have impacted your life for the better. Now send them a “thank you” card.
Next, work on saying “thank you” to at least 10 people each day for a week that do something kind.
Be intentional with your “thank you”, and watch your emotions blossom. You may become that person you always admired in others.
If this message blessed you, be a blessing by sharing with others.