Have you said thank-you to someone to show how grateful you are for them today? It’s such a small thing, but it can have a huge impact on your life, and the life of that person.
Find little ways to incorporate gratitude in your life, and you’ll be much happier … and you’ll make the people around you much happier as well. That’ll have a ripple effect that will make the world a better place … with such a small gesture!
Saying thank you isn’t hard at all. But the words can lose meaning if they’re just words. You need to say them with sincerity, or show your gratitude through little actions.
Can you imagine a world where everyone showed gratitude? If someone did you a kindness, you’d give them a warm smile and say thank you. If you were having a bad day, someone else would take time out of her life to comfort you, out of gratitude for a kindness you did her yesterday. People would still get angry, or sad, but would know to find ways to be grateful, even in difficult situations.
I know, I know … I’m an idealist, and such a world will never exist. But that’s OK. I can accept the world as it is … and at the same time, show my gratitude for what a wonderful world we have. And what wonderful people (such as you guys) are in my life. And in doing so, my little acts of gratitude will radiate throughout the world, changing it in subtle but profound ways.
Corny? Perhaps. I can be corny at times. But let me tell you: incorporating gratitude in my life (even if I’m not always successful at it) has changed me and has made me happier. I recommend it heartily.
For those who’d like to do little things to show their gratitude, to a specific person or to life in general, here are a few ideas that work for me:
1. Create a Gratitude Ritual.
As I described in an earlier post on this topic, on many mornings I do a little ritual: I just close my eyes, and take a couple of minutes to think of the people and things I’m grateful for. That includes those who’ve donated to this site, as well as all you readers. And of course, my loved ones, and others in my life.
2. Send a thank-you note.
You know, it’s nice to get a little note thanking you for something you did. You don’t need to send someone a formal thank-you card (although that’s a nice touch), but just a little note (or email) saying thank you for a specific thing the person has done for you can go a long way. And it only takes a minute!
3. Give a free hug.
OK, only do this when appropriate … but if you have a loved one in your life, give them a hug! Often we can go too long without showing our affection and gratitude, even to those who are closest to us. Don’t neglect this important part of your relationship. By “free” hug, I mean don’t expect anything in return — just give it as a gift of gratitude. If you give a hug to a stranger, be prepared to run very fast afterward.
4. Give thanks for today!
You don’t even have to thank a person … you can thank life itself! Wake up, and greet the day with gratitude. Be thankful you’re alive!