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Making Nice

The clear benefits of giving and expressing gratitude — not only for the receiver but for the giver — and the impact of these actions on happiness, well-being, and prosocial behavior can be particularly important in stressful times like the ones we are living in. Tristen Inagaki offered some advice about how to give gratitude, show gratitude, and, in general, practice kindness. First, just do it — even during the pandemic, and especially during the pandemic. “Maybe it feels like there are a lot of barriers, but we’re finding that even something as simple as expressing gratitude toward an essential worker — saying thank you to medical professionals or to sanitation workers or teachers or really anyone who is out there keeping the world moving — that doing that more is associated with better well-being over time during the pandemic,” Inagaki emphasized. Second, give repeatedly. “A number of theories in the social relationships literature suggest that repeated, positive social interactions — perhaps including giving to others — would keep you socially connected,” Inagaki said.

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