Expressing gratitude might help to boost your relationship, as well as your psychological and physical well being, a new study has found.

The study  by researchers from the National Communication Association – a not-for-profit organisation based in the USA – found that gratitude contributes to long term success in relationships and personal well-being “up to six months after a deliberate expression to one’s relationship partner”.

The study,  published in the journal Review Of Communication, found that just as we can boost our immune systems through vaccines, we can boost relationships and our mental states by expressing gratitude to our partners regularly.

 Gratitude is usually expressed as a response to the act of generosity by another person. For example a gift or an act of kindness. It is a different emotion from happiness as it often stems from another individual’s actions.

Stephen M. Yoshimura from the National Communication Association  said, “To experience gratitude, one must receive a message, and interpret the message”.

“Gratitude consistently associates with many positive social, psychological, and health states, such as an increased likelihood of helping others, optimism, exercise, and reduced reports of physical symptoms,” he said.