Can email make you happier?
The average person sends and receives 130 emails a day according to a 2014 survey. Many of those will be along the lines of “Can you do this” or “why haven’t you done this” or “your credit card payment is due.” Not exactly messages that will put a smile on your face.
Using email to boost happiness.
You can actually use email to boost happiness by sending 3 specific emails a day. These messages are designed to help you focus on the positive and build stronger relationships.
First, when you get in to work in the morning, send a quick email to someone complimenting them on something specific. This does a few things – firstly, it gets you into the mindset of looking for good in the world. Focusing on good has been shown to increase happiness. Secondly, it will help strengthen your relationship with the person. Strong personal relationships have also been linked to happiness. Last, but not least, you will have done a small good deed by getting someone’s day off to a good start. Helping others also has been connected to increased happiness.
Next, send an email (either to yourself or to someone you are close with) expressing what is good in your life. Purposefully focusing on what is good has a strong link with increased happiness. The “good” you express can be small or big – it doesn’t matter. It may be challenging to think of something good, but the more days you do it – the easier it will become.
Finally, send an email (either to yourself, or someone you are close with) sharing something you are grateful for. Expressing gratitude on a daily basis has been shown to contribute towards a person’s happiness.
Making it a habit
If you send these 3 emails every day for a few weeks your happiness will start to grow. You could also keep a copy of each email you send to refer to later on if you need a little happy boost. You can make it easy by setting 3 recurring reminders in your calendar so you remember to send the messages.
8.00am – Send ‘complimentary’ email.
12.00pm – Send ‘good’ email.
8.00pm – Send ‘grateful’ email.
Go ahead, set those reminders now and try it for a few weeks.