The Health Benefits of Connection:
Rosie’s Wonders connection cards create a new chapter for greeting cards! Rather than just convey a common sentiment, they are specifically designed to cultivate connection. Science proves written connection reduces doctor visits and increases happiness.
Some Science Facts!
Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, asked 411 people to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked for his or her kindness, participants immediately exhibited a huge increase in happiness scores. This impact was greater than that from any other intervention, with benefits lasting for a month. Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, demonstrated in one study writing a few sentences each week, focusing on how grateful one is for events of the past week exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
Reading the written word forges better understanding and memorability
Studies suggest that the written word is more powerful than digital communications in affecting a social bond and could change the way your customers cogitate on your communications for the better. The same Indiana University study found that the brain showed “greater neural activation in areas associated with working memory” when looking at the written word. This brings us to the conclusion that the power of gratitude is best expressed through handwriting for optimal memorability, understanding, and appreciation. * Konnikova, M. (2014). What’s lost as handwriting fades?. The New York Times.
Handwritten expressions of gratitude alter brain chemistry and cognition
Both gratitude and handwriting activate areas of our brain in unique ways that digital messages can’t, and when the two are combined, magic happens in the brain. A study at Indiana University witnessed “increased activity in three areas of the brain that are activated in adults when they read and write”, while a University of Southern California study found “gratitude activated areas of the brain responsible for feelings of reward, moral cognition, and fairness.” * Konnikova, M. (2014). What’s lost as handwriting fades?. The New York Times. University of Southern California (USC) Brain and Creativity Institute - (Fox GR et al. 2015).
Expressing gratitude fosters long-term relationships
We all love to be thanked and appreciated, and a UNSW Australian-led study has proven this has long-term effects on our relationships. In fact, expressing gratitude “helps people develop new relationships, build on existing relationships, and maintain both.” By expressing gratitude to your customers, you’re showing them that a “high-quality relationship could be formed” between the two of you, increasing both long-term connectedness and loyalty. * 2014 Emotion.
Gratitude increases trust, lowers inflammation, and improves wellbeing
Expressing gratitude is an act of social bonding, which can illicit the neuropeptide hormone oxytocin, better known as the “trust molecule.” A study at the University of Pennsylvania saw this theory in action, dividing university fundraisers into two groups. One of the groups was thanked for their efforts, and this message of gratitude increased work output by 50 percent! In addition to this, expressions of gratitude can help lower inflammation, lessen depression, and promote sounder sleep. * Grant, A. M., & Gino, F. (2010). A little thanks goes a long way: Explaining why gratitude expressions motivate prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psych. J Health Psychol. 2013 Feb;18(2):263-71. doi: 10.1177/1359105312439733. Epub 2012 Mar 12.
Disconnection is more dangerous than smoking, obesity, or high blood pressure
Pervasive loneliness is a modern epidemic, with the Annual Review of Sociology citing lack of social connections as more dangerous than obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure. On the flip side, a study at Brigham Young University suggests those with healthy “social relationships have a 50 percent greater likelihood of survival” than those who don’t, stating that “the magnitude of this effect is comparable with quitting smoking.” * Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review - Julianne Holt-Lunstad*, Timothy B. Smith, J. Bradley LaytonDepartment of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, Department of Counseling Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Science 29 Jul 1988: Vol. 241, Issue 4865, pp. 540-545DOI: 10.1126/science.3399889 Social relationships and health JS House, KR Landis, D Umberson
Businesses that express handwritten gratitude are exponentially more successful
In an ever-crowded B2C market, customer service can be the deciding factor between your product and another. It adds a much-needed human element in our disconnected world, and one of the best ways to do this is through handwritten expressions of gratitude. Not only has this method been scientifically proven to optimize the social bond between you and your customer, it’s been successfully put into action by businesses. A great example is the pet supplies company, Chewy, that rose to a multi-billion dollar valuation and fully credits their handwritten and thoughtful communications as the reason. * Gingiss, D. (2018) How Chewy.com claws its way to the top with remarkable experiences. Forbes.