How many times did you say “thank you” yesterday? If you have regular interactions with people, it’s probably a lot more times than you realize. We casually throw a “thanks” every time someone pauses to hold a door for us.
We say it when a server in our favorite restaurant brings a glass of water, takes our order, brings an appetizer, drops off some extra napkins, and when they refill our tea. Then, we thank them for bringing the bill when we’re finished. Most of us even shout it kindly one last time on our way out.
It’s polite to say thank you frequently to anyone who provides a service or kindness. I don’t believe it can be overused in these kinds of instances.
Some situations call for something more than a simple “thanks” though. We should all learn to do or say things that reflect our appreciation sincerely and gracefully. Taking time to do this is an impactful way to bring positivity into the world around us.
As a continuation of a theme of gratefulness throughout the month of November, I wanted to share some ideas from an article on the VirtuesForLife website where they dig into 100 Ways to Express Gratitude and Boost Happiness. I’ve just plucked some that I love but you can check out their complete list to find some that work well for you.
Write a handwritten letter of thanks for a person’s help, love, friendship and/or support is one of the easiest and potentially most impactful ways to express your gratitude.
Make a gratitude list. Get comfortable, find a quiet place, and write down ten things that you are thankful for in life. Read your gratitude list often to remind you of all the good in your life.
Give a genuine compliment on a talent, skill, or strength that you admire in someone.
Tell co-workers how thankful you are for their support with a project or task. You can do this face-to-face or with a nice card
Give thanks to the earth for all it’s gifts like the sunlight that keeps us warm, the moonlight that guides our way, stars that brighten the sky, trees and flowers for their vibrant colors, sweet-sounding birds, plants that produce food to eat, water to drink, and so much more.
Write love notes. A simple love note expressing your love and admiration for your spouse, child or anyone else helps them to feel appreciated and cherished.
Grow your compassion toward people and as you do, you’ll see how fortunate you are to get the chance to make a difference in their lives, just by opening your heart.
Keep a gratitude jar filled with notes on life’s blessings (small and big) in your home and whenever you, your spouse or children feel down choose a note from the jar for an instant lift.
Do something unexpected for someone. What a feeling it is to have someone bring home flowers unexpectedly, or give you a big hug out of nowhere. Surprise someone for no reason and brighten his or her day!
Call past mentors to let them know how, what they taught you, has made a difference in your life.
Give hope and encouragement to someone in need because your compassion can have an inspiring, even life-changing effect on another person.
It’s been proven by science that living a life centered around an “attitude of gratitude” helps us live longer, healthier lives. It improves our experience of the world around us and creates stronger bonds with our fellow humans.
Want to take a small step in this direction? Pop over to my Facebook page and add a comment to my gratitude post (it’s pinned at the top). Share something you’re feeling grateful about, give an idea for ways to show your gratitude, or tell a story about a time someone else expressed their gratitude to you!