Gratitude does more than make us feel good, it does us good. What’s more it’s good for other people too. So thanking the people we’re grateful to increases happiness all round.
Where to start?
- Think of people you’re really grateful to – people who’ve had a particularly positive influence or impact on your life or who have been really kind. For example, they could be your parents or other family members, friends, teachers, work colleagues, teammates or neighbours. Note their names down. It’s important that you feel genuinely grateful to them.
- Pick one person to write to, perhaps someone that you’ve never thanked properly before. Ideally someone you could meet for a face-to-face meeting in the next week.
- Write a letter to them. Be specific and clear about what they did for you and how it affected your life then and now. If you haven’t seen them in a while, let the person know what you’re doing and explain how what they did contributed to the person you are today.
- Arrange to meet. To get the maximum from this action arrange a face-to-face meeting so that you can read the letter to of the person yourself. This isn’t always easy but it’s likely you’ll will be pleased you did it. Get in touch and arrange a good time to get together this week. Be vague about the purpose of meeting up, this action is more fun when it’s a surprise! Try to do this straight after you have written your letter.
- Read your letter to them. Get comfortable. Tell them you have a surprise. Ask them to just sit and listen while you read. Take your time. After you’ve read the whole letter, take a moment to notice their reactions and how you are feeling. Then together you can discuss what you’ve read, why you felt it important to do and how it has made them feel.
- Reflect. After the visit, take a moment to think about how you felt as you wrote your letter? How were you affected by the other person’s reaction? How you are feeling after the meeting? Now think who else on your list you’d like to tell that you are grateful…