One activity that immerses me in gratitude is to write a letter to someone expressing what I appreciate about them and why I'm thankful to have them in my life. Doing this feels great because it reminds me of that person's special qualities and how fortunate I am to know them. It also brightens that person's day when they receive the letter.
|Photo by Pimthida / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0|
You can write by hand, send an email, read it over the phone or say it in person; the means is less important than what you will express. Giving someone a heartfelt gratitude letter will surely make you and the recipient feel happy and thankful for each other!
Here are some suggestions if you need a kickstart:
- Write the letter to a birthday person. I prefer this because it's an easy reminder. I'll always remember one friend's touching response: "That was the best birthday wish I got...maybe ever."
- Write to someone with whom you have challenges or conflicts; expressing gratitude to them can improve the relationship.
- Write to your significant other. My husband and I do "weekly love letters" and it helps us stay romantic and avoid taking each other for granted.
- Write to someone you don't know but whose work or actions benefit you. For example, when I was a child I wrote a thank you letter to the mailman, who seemed to really appreciate it.
Things to say
- Everyone loves a compliment! List their good traits and qualities that you admire.
- Explain some things you've learned from them.
- Tell a story about how they have positively affected your life, for example, as a good role model, by always making you laugh, or by giving helpful advice.
- Even just one line saying "thank you" can be meaningful.