Feeling blah about your bod? Get outside and crunch some leaves, girl. New research in the journal Body Image (yep, these folks know what they’re talking about) examined results from five studies and found that spending time in natural environments led to significantly higher appreciation for your figure. The theory: Outdoor surroundings take you away from appearance-focused situations, reminding you to respect your body for what it can do rather than for how it looks. Preach!
Writing a note of appreciation really is an art form. Research shows that crafting a heartfelt message won’t just make the recipient’s day—it’ll make you happier in the long run too. Follow our (experts’) lead and spread a little more cheer in the world.
1. Rather than a blanket “Thank you for everything,” zero in on one act of kindness or support to make the giver feel truly appreciated.
2. Break down their good deed into multiple elements and reflect on each. You’ll better recognize the details and appreciate their efforts.
3. Praise the person’s great qualities and call out the work they put in. This will mean more than focusing on how they made you feel.
Gratitude-letter writers underestimated how pleased recipients would be, guessing they’d feel a 3 out of 5 on a happiness scale, when they actually reported a 4 or a 5, found a new study from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Sources: Robert Emmons, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of California at Davis and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology; Kira Newman, managing editor of Greater Good magazine at the University of California at Berkeley
STOCKSY (WOMAN); GETTY IMAGES (NOTE); MARY FAMA (HANDWRITING) ■