Valentine’s day is upcoming. Probably you’ve already got a gift for your loved one or if not, it’s on your checklist. Flowers, a box of chocolates, candles, romantic dinner. Certainly, you’ll put on pleasant experiences. Is the gratitude on your list?
As the new year goes by, I offered myself a new calendar book. This time I chose the one with the coaching main theme. Yesterday, I opened a new page. Gratitude. I flinched.
– Again… – I thought – The same topic over and over. How many times can you thank someone? It’s like saying “I love you” every day. After a month it loses its charm.
As always I gave it a longer thought. Maybe, after all, I don’t say it so often. Other people don’t say it either. We quickly get used to someone’s goodwill and take it for granted. We quickly get used to someone’s presence and take it for granted. All we get becomes normal after a while. At first, we don’t thank as we’re surprised. Then, we don’t thank as it already feels usual. Eventually, saying thank you seems lofty and exaggerated.
I was used to thanking people for many things. I stopped doing it when I realized it didn’t make any difference to them. Today, I know it makes a difference to me. Being able to recognize people who accompany me every day. Being able to recognize wonderful things which happen on my way. Being able to recognize God’s blessings I’m given. Gratitude strengthens my ability to see that nit everything in my life goes wrong. There are plenty of beautiful things, moments and acts of kindness which pass unnoticed.
Another day, I heard that the best background for every relationship is to implement three simple words to your dictionary:
- I’m sorry
- Thank you
It opened my eyes. I understood that a successful and happy relationship isn’t about the occasional passionate expression of feelings. It’s about integrating those three expressions into the daily language we use to communicate with others. Especially, the last one is the most powerful in my eyes.
- Thank you for…
- Thank you that…
- Thank you because…
I tried it out. The results exceeded my expectations. Thanking turned out to be one of the most effective ways to plant a seed of positivity and tenderness in my life and people who were involved in the gratitude process. Gratitude is an underestimated source of happiness. That’s why let’s see how you can share it in a variety of ways.
1. Face to Face
There’s a massive emotional charge when you voice your gratitude aloud. This is not something which comes easily, but the more you practice it, the more energized you get about the idea of doing it again. Seeing the face or the faces of people whom you thank is priceless. Only then you realize how little they need to feel valued. A good word, praise, recognition, acknowledgment change a lot in other people’s attitude.
We’re used to believing that we may change people when pointing out their weaknesses and criticizing their deeds. I’ve experienced the opposite. Despite you’re tempted to focus on negatives, make an attempt to remark a positive. Thank someone in your midst for anything you consider valuable. I know it might be difficult at the beginning. Often times, I struggle enormously to find positive traits in some people. Not because they don’t have any. It’s because I don’t want to see it. Because I’m biased. Because acknowledging them would require to change my approach.
Regardless of how hard it might seem to you, offer the best gift you can share. Offer your gratitude. Serve it face to face. Observe people’s faces. Spot their smile. A twinkle in their eyes. A tear on their cheek. You’ll see the miracles happen. If you don’t believe people need it, read this post.
2. Gratitude Jar
I love this idea which is so simple and so powerful at the same time! The best thing is that you can keep the jar either for yourself in order to cultivate your personal gratitude or you can offer it to someone you’re particularly grateful to. How to use it? Every day write down 1-2 things you’re are grateful for. It can be something really basic. Someone smiled to you, someone gave you a compliment, you spend a nice evening watching your favorite series, you’ve got an inspirational chat with your friend, you learned something new or you’ve got a tasty coffee.
Put your gratitude jar on a shelf in a visible place and see how it gets filled in. It brings incredible results. As you pay attention to what positive events occur in your life, you start to notice more and more. Your sight and perception sharpen. As long as the jar gets full of little papers with all the positive things you’ve experienced, you realize how blessed you are and how rich your life is.
3. Gratitude Diary
It’s not easy to spot little bliss on a daily basis. We tend to stay trapped in a circle of destructive thoughts believing that life forgot about us. Do you appreciate that you’re given one more day to live? Do you enjoy “small” things which happen to be part of your life? Have you eaten today something delicious? Have you been taking a walk during beautiful weather? Have you seen a magnificent sunrise or sunset? Have you listened to your favorite song in the radio? Have you waken up today next to the person you love?
Those are extremely important things whose value we become aware of only after we miss them. When we’re on diet, we’re overworked, it’s raining several days in a row, the radio got broken or our partner went on a business trip. Or in the worst scenario when we get ill.
Don’t let these moments to be fleeting. Write them down in your diary, notebook, sticky notes, text notes on your smartphone or anywhere you please. Anywhere you can quickly come back to. Read them once a week. Keep them close to your bed or working desk. Remind yourself about them when you undergo a challenging time. They will reinforce your capability of overcoming any adversity with a heart lifted up.
4. No Words
Gratitude is not necessarily to be expressed verbally or in written. You can express it in deeds. Do an act of service every day. Again, it doesn’t have to be anything demanding or complicated. Smile, hold the door, invite for a lunch, help to achieve a goal, volunteer, donate, buy someone a book, bake a cake for someone, listen actively, DIY.
There are countless things you can come up with in order to thank someone. The best ones are those which are not expected. The more unconditional they are, the more priceless they become. Invest in them. Share them with anyone you meet on your way. We all need them.
Thank you for reading this post! If you feel like it may help someone, please share it. I will be very happy to have your feedback!
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE,