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 gratitudein 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 thier life to comfort you. People would still get angry, or sad, but could 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 even accept my own circumstances … 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? Maybe. 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. In the morning 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.
2. Send a thank-you card. You know, it’s nice to get a card thanking you for something you did. 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.
4. Give thanks for today! You don’t even have to thank a person … you can thank God! Wake up, and greet the day with gratitude. Be thankful you’re alive!
5. Do someone a free favor. Without expecting anything in return, do something nice for someone. Just something small. Get them a drink or a coffee, do a chore for them, offer to do an errand, anything they’d appreciate, really. Think of what the person likes, wants or needs, and try to do something (even something small) to help them. Actions speak louder than words, and doing something nice will show you’re grateful more than just saying it.
6. Give a little gift. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but a little gift can be a memorable gesture.
7. Say thanks even for negative things in your life. This is the hard part, in truth. When things go wrong, when we’re not happy, when people are mean to us, when we are worn down by the million slings and arrows of everyday life … we don’t want to say thank you. But in truth, this is the time when it matters most. If you’ve mastered the first 6 items on this list, you’re ready to master this one.
When life gets you down, when your hurt or angry or confused or frustrated, take a moment to stop and close your eyes and find things to be thankful for. Your health, your family, your job, the roof over your head, the fact that you’ll have a next meal, the beauty of the world around you, the good people in your life, your new Macintosh computer. Whatever you can think of, be thankful for them … and express that gratitude somehow. Realize that all is not bad in this world, and be happy for that.
And then, when you’ve mastered that skill, think of the negative things in your life … and give thanks for them. That person who was mean to you? Thank them for teaching you patience and understanding. That dog that tore up your trash? Thank him for teaching you humility as you pick up the trash. The natural disaster you went through? Thank it for reminding you of what is important in life. The illness you are going through? Thank it for making you stronger.
This post is a part of the Season of Gratitude hosted on Balanced Life Center.
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PS. There is a cool way to show gratitude with personalised cards. Click HERE to find out how.
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