Philosophers and poets have long praised gratitude as one of the most desirable attitudes and attributes. Surely, each of us has much to be thankful for. Gratitude can have a lasting positive impact if we work towards incorporating it into our daily lives. The expression of gratitude leads to a positive, self-renewing, feedback loop – the more gratitude we display, the more grateful we are likely to be. Showing gratitude is one of the simplest, yet most powerful things we can do for one another. To make sure the gratitude you’re expressing in return is worthy of the deed, use any of these creative ways to show you’re truly thankful and be sure your message is deeply felt.
Say something kind. The most simple way to demonstrate gratitude is to say thanks to another. If you don’t have a specific item to express thanks for, saying a few kind words is just as effective. If you want to communicate how much your friend or relative made an impact, expressing gratitude with extra enthusiasm can emphasize the extent of your thanks. Phrases like “you made my day!” or “you saved my life!” are more potent than simply saying thank you.
Get specific. What makes you particularly thankful for your sister, or your professor, or your best friend? It’s really easy to get specific when you are expressing gratitude – all you have to do is add “for” to the end of your initial phrase, and go thoughtfully on from there . “Thank you for…”, “I appreciate you for…”, “I’m grateful to you for…”, etc. Naming what you’re really grateful for is a powerful way to communicate to your friend, family member, or colleague what it is about them that is so special to you.
Give the gift of time. Nothing says “I appreciate you” more than an investment of your time. Think about what’s most important to others and make it a top priority. It could be going out to eat or to the newest movie, going for a walk, helping with a project, or even simply stopping by for a quick chat and taking the time to listen.
Put your phone away. While you’re spending time with someone, be fully present, by putting your phone away when you’re interacting with others. This isn’t always easy, especially with all the available digital distractions. Nothing squanders a well planned evening faster than someone constantly pulling out their phone. This small effort will show how important spending time with this person is to you and allow you to be more appreciative of the experiences you have with them.
Expressing gratitude will make those around you feel more loved and appreciated, and can help make you an overall happier person. What are some other creative ways you’ve shown your gratitude? Share your ideas and experiences in the comments below!