Saying “thank you” is a magic, little token of gratitude that we can use to acknowledge acts of kindness big and small, throughout our day. With any phrase, though, if you use it often enough, it will start to lose its meaning. Throwing out a quick thank you to the person bringing you your food, without really taking the time to think about what you are grateful for, strips the meaning out of the words. Did you even look them in the eyes when you said it? A “thank you” should be more than polite, it should be authentic; but how? Implement mindful ways to show gratitude!
As we approach Thanksgiving, we begin taking stock of all the things that we are thankful for. When considering what brings us joy, we should also think about ways to show gratitude through simple gestures and actions.
They don’t have to be costly, or cost anything at all. What is important is just that it conveys an honest appreciation for someone. The more you practice active gratitude, the more you will realize how thankful you are for strangers, and may even see a positive change in yourself. Energy has momentum, and the more we display ways to show gratitude, the more our light will travel to people and places we’ve never even seen.
Ways to Show Gratitude
- Look People in the Eyes When You Say Thank You: This seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes we can be in such a rush to say thank you and get back to our task, that we forget to look up at the person we’re thanking. Eye contact connects us, and establishes recognition between two people. By sharing that brief moment of recognition in each other’s eyes—you being grateful, and they being selfless—you have created a positive bond, even if just for a second.
- Write a Letter to Someone You Care About: You will be surprised at the tears that a simple letter telling someone how much they mean to you, can elicit. Too many of us wait until birthdays, holidays or even funerals to let our loved ones know what special thing they did, affected us the most. Sit down and think about someone you love. What is one moment that stands out to you as being the time that they were there when you needed them the most? Write it out, put it in an envelope, and give it to them.
- Pass It On: Have you ever read a book that changed your whole perspective on a dark period that you were going through? Whether it was a movie, a book or a crystal that someone gave you, give one last squeeze, thank it for bringing you into a better place, and leave it somewhere for someone else to find. Know that it will reach the hands of the person it is meant to.
- Bring Someone a Coffee: When you go to buy your next coffee, buy two. Bring one home to your roommate or significant other. Bring one to work for your coworker who you’ve seen working their tail off. Bring one with you when you walk outside, and hand it off to someone in need. If there is someone in line behind you at the coffee shop, ask them what they’d like, and get it for them. For just a couple of dollars more, you can have a huge impact on someone’s outlook on life and humanity. They may remember that small act of kindness for years after you gave it, and feel inspired to do the same for someone else.
- Write a Positive Review: People are so driven to write reviews when they are angry, but where is that drive when we are happy? Reading a positive review can give a business or employee the boost of enthusiasm they need and deserve to continue providing exceptional service. Whether it was an employee who brightened your experience, a manager who went above and beyond in helping you, or the owner who connected with you as their customer, a positive write up online can highlight not just the business, but show acknowledgement for the effort and kindness that was given to you.
- Thank Someone Who Has Disagreed With You: This one can be difficult, especially because we live in such divisive times where disagreeing with someone’s political, religious or personal views is deemed an acceptable reason to distance yourself from that person entirely. Instead of that, why not thank them for the difference and diversity that they bring into your life. Let them know what other attributes you appreciate them for. This will help them to see that even though you have different beliefs, you are still inherently just people who have many other facets of being which you can connect on.