5 Ways to Show Gratitude
1. Give a special note of acknowledgement: On someone’s birthday, instead of writing them an ordinary Happy Birthday note, tell them how much they mean to you. Tell them something specific they did that made a difference for you. Tell them why you’re grateful that they’re in your life. And of course, this doesn’t have to be limited to birthdays only. Any day is a good day to send a note like this.
2. Return the favour: Do something thoughtful for people you’re grateful for in a way that they’re not expecting. This could include making a special effort to spend quality time with them or buying them something they need or want. If you keep your eyes and ears open, an opportunity to show gratitude through a helping hand or a thoughtful gift will surely present itself. Regardless of what you do, be sure to tell them how grateful you are to have them in your life.
3. Say thank you: Say thank you to every little thing someone does for you that you appreciate. This is especially true when it comes to close family and friends. I have a few people in my life who constantly tell me not to thank them for little things they do because it’s their ‘duty’ or ‘that’s what friends are for’. I continue to ignore them and say thank you, partly because it’s how I’ve been raised and partly because it’s just the right thing to do.
4. Pay it forward: Do something nice for someone else. You can tell your boss about a colleague that’s done a great job or help someone take their groceries to their car. You can smile at everyone you pass on your way to work.
5. Write it down: There’s something magical about writing things down. Whether it’s daily or weekly or sporadically throughout the month, write down what you’re grateful for. It could be in your journal or on your smartphone. You can make a quick list of whatever comes to mind or think long and hard to make sure you’re being thorough. Do whatever works for you. And don’t forget to include the things that didn’t feel good in the moment – you know, the tough lessons we learn from people or experiences that we’re grateful for in hindsight.
Here’s a list of what I’m grateful for at this very moment:
- My Gr. 10 teacher who made our entire leadership class do the ‘Who You Are Makes A Difference’ exercise and my friend who consequently chose me, both of whom are still an important part of my life to this day
- My best friend whose love and presence I feel when I need it most
- My video team who continues to inspire me and bring out my best
- The miracles of the universe that keep me safe and happy
- You, for reading this and for surely showing gratitude shortly after to whomever and whatever you are grateful for
- Me, for giving myself the freedom to make a top 6 list even though I was trying to keep it to a neatly organized top 5 list.