4 Simple Ways To Say Thank You That Will Make You Happier and Healthier
We are all seeking ways to be happier, for our life to have more meaning, and to find more abundance. Did you know that saying ‘thank you’ could help you find all of these? The people that surround us, who take care of us and who love us, make life beautiful and meaningful. Saying thank you to them for showing up has a multitude of long-lasting benefits. In fact, showing gratitude has been known to improve both physical and psychological health, for both the sender and the receiver. Here are some (big and small) ways you can say ‘thank you’ to the people who make your life amazing.
Giving food, or cooking a meal, is a common way to thank other people. Many neighbors and friends take turns inviting each other over for meals as a way of demonstrating gratitude for a meal once prepared for them. The preparation is a symbol of hard work by the host repaying the invitees for all they’ve done. Bonds are built in the kitchen and solidified over the dinner table. There is something about food that makes us all relaxed, comfortable and happy. Food thank you’s don’t have to be big elaborate dinner parties though; they can be homemade jams left on the porch for your mailman, a case of your neighbor’s favorite drink stashed in his truck after a fishing trip or a box of Girl Scout cookies for your child’s karate instructor. Being a bit creative, and mindful of allergies, can go a long way.
Everyone loves a gift basket. Gift baskets are like a treasure hunt for adults. With the clear cellophane wrapping, you can see the promise of what’s inside, but it’s not until you open the basket up that you find all the little treats and gifts hidden in all the little nooks and crannies. Just when you think you’ve found it all, a small trinket tumbles out of the wrapping. They are also fun to make; the contents can be any theme you’d like and coming up with ideas for what to include is part of the fun. Wine and cheese baskets are particularly popular. Do your research online to find out everything you’ll want in your wine and cheese gift basket. Gift baskets are a great gift idea to thank someone for helping to take care of your home while you were on holidays, for thanking a particularly inspirational and supportive teacher at your child’s school or as bigger gifts for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays or baby showers.
Everyone loves getting mail, when it’s not a bill, of course! Sending a card in the mail is a very thoughtful and old-fashioned way to say thank you, and is a unique gesture that the recipient will appreciate. Be creative and personalize the card using an online greeting card maker. Include pictures that will be meaningful to the addressee – family photos, pictures of your holidays or your pets. If there is someone in your life who is consistently on your thank you list, consider creating a series of cards all at once to help you save money on bulk purchases. You can have them all sent to your address, and then you send them off at the right time. You could even be a bit creative and create a storyline that flows through each card so that the recipient has not only the thank you to look forward to but also the next episode in your story.
Sometimes the most powerful message is simply in the words. Taking the time to say thank you, without any grander gesture, can be the most appropriate and meaningful way to show gratitude to someone in some cases. In these times, don’t let thank you be a passing phrase. Demonstrate your gratitude in your body language as well as your words – face them, look them in the eye and if appropriate, embrace in a shoulder touch, handshake or hug. Demonstrating kindness in this way will build your connection. If part of a larger group – like in the workplace or on a committee – saying thank you publically can double the impact and promote a culture of gratitude. Make sure you know your recipient well before making a public display of your appreciation though; the person may be a shy introvert who is uncomfortable with this kind of attention and your thoughtful moment will backfire.
Saying thank you should come naturally to us, but it can take practice for it to become habit. Take the time, whether big or small, to say a thank you to the people around you. It will make you both happier and healthier.