There’s one mindset that can truly change your life - the ‘attitude of gratitude’. Studies have shown that acts of gratitude improve our lives in almost every aspect - especially if we’re habitual about it. Showing gratitude to acquaintances and friends opens the door for new or deeper friendships and primes us for greater empathy.
Researchers have found that gratitude increases our happiness and lowers feelings of depression and aggression. We sleep better and are more resilient to stress when we’re grateful. Who doesn’t need to de-stress a little? We can practice gratitude every day by committing a few minutes to journaling. This is a great first step - but sharing our feelings of gratitude for others enhances every known benefit.
There are so many ways we can show our loved-ones we’re grateful for them this season, even if we can’t be with them. We might have to be a little creative about it, but we have some simple suggestions to get started:
Of course, there’s the classic phone call, email or text message. A quick, “Hey I was thinking about you, how are you doing?” That is enough to show people that they’re on your mind - that you care.
If you want to step your game up, write down little notes every time they do something you’re grateful for. Use pretty paper, something decorative. Collect these snapshots in time in an envelope or jar and send it to them without warning. I promise you, this simple and affordable gesture will be something they will absolutely treasure.
Go Old School
A more general act that still has a personal touch - sending a card. Find one that suits their personality - something unique. Picking out the perfect card shows them that you were intentional in your choosing and carries more weight.
Make it Virtual
Getting everyone together right now may not be possible. But what about virtual gatherings? You can show your gratitude and commitment to staying connected by carving out the time and hosting online parties. Bring it to the next level by sending everyone party supplies like matching plates or napkins ahead of time. Coordinating even the smallest details of party décor can make the miles in-between all of you seem a little shorter.
It’s important that the people we cherish the most know that we feel that way. Gratitude isn’t simply just saying ‘thank you’. Gratitude is best served as an action word. It is about taking the time out of our day to make someone else's day a little brighter. It can take some time and a little bit of work, but the more you put into it, the more you and those you love will get out of it. What are some of your favorite ways to show gratitude? Drop them in the comments below!