Anyone who has ever received a sincere ‘thank you’ knows how meaningful and memorable a genuine expression of gratitude can be. With the pace and distractions of daily life, it is easy to get caught up in a whirlwind mentality revolving around to-do lists, responsibilities, and stress, and we forget just how much there is to be thankful for.
Shifting to a grateful mentality is like hitting the reset button for your life. Just think of three parts of your world that are incredible. Sunshine! Family! Mashed potatoes! Whether it’s a special person or a certain blessing in our everyday life, taking the time to express appreciation will make someone’s day and leave you feeling refreshed. It’s never too late to say thanks to someone who has made a difference, and the ways to do so are endless.
20 ways to show gratitude
1. Thank-you card: Anyone who has ever received a heartfelt thank-you card knows there is no matter too small.
2. Bake something: Everyone loves a baked surprise—burnt or not! Pro tip: just add love.
3. Spend time: You’re busy. We get it. Sometimes the simplest way to appreciate someone is just to take an hour to sit and catch up. Pro tip: focus on them.
4. Volunteer: How easy it is to take things like food and shelter for granted. Find somewhere to volunteer in your area: http://www.volunteermatch.org/.
5. Plan something: A family trip, girls weekend, or date night is a no-fail way to refresh your relationship with those whose time you value.
6. Send flowers: Particularly useful for long-distance gratitude.
7. Tip well: That extra few dollars can make all the difference to a deserving service industry worker. Pro tip: leave a note!
8. Lend a hand: Have you ever had someone unexpectedly take a task off your shoulders? Think of it like gifting a sigh of relief.
9. Take it to the top: Let a supervisor know if someone goes above and beyond to serve you, or you notice someone doing a great job at work.
10. Pick up the phone: With text and email as the unsung heroes of the digital age, someone will smile at the sound of your voice. Pro tip: upgrade to Skype or Facetime.
11. Contribute to a wish-list: Provide items for a local women’s home, children’s hospital, animal shelter, or non-profit.
12. Make amends: Life is too short to dwell on the past. Remind that certain someone that you still care about them.
13. Thank a teacher: Most of us can think of one teacher who made a special impact in our angst-filled classrooms of yesteryear. Send Mrs. Jones a shout out or plan a visit.
14. Flash a smile: Thinking of things that you’re grateful for makes you smile. A smile from a stranger can make someone’s day.
15. Create something: Bonus points if you are a child or an artist, but everyone appreciates something handmade.
16. Bottle it up: Literally! Jot down special memories and thank you messages to stick in a jar for long-term gratitude.
17. Keep it positive: There’s enough negativity in the world. Stay grateful and remember, sometimes it’s all about perspective.
18. Write a letter: Call me old-fashioned, but I consider letter writing one of the most intimate and intentional ways of communication. Pro tip: pretend it’s 1855.
19. Pay it forward: Don’t wait for it to happen to you! Cover someone’s meal in the drive-through or toll-charge on a road trip to spark the chain and remind someone there are good people out there.
20. Just say something: In the end, there is no right or wrong way to say thank you. Just say it! It makes a difference.