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Three Lessons Learned From Gratitude

It’s that time of the year, yet again- time for the thank you notes to go out. While this may seem like a tedious task for many, showing gratitude is a good way to let the people around us know that not only do we recognize their kindness, but that we also appreciate how it has changed our lives for the better. Thank you notes do not necessarily have to go to only those with whom we exchanged presents, either; it’s a good idea to take a moment and reflect on all of the people who have had a positive impact on your life over the past year, whether it’s your gym trainer, your grocery bagger, your parents, your priest, or your mailman. After you’ve given it some thought, take a few minutes to sit down and write a quick note to those people, expressing your gratitude towards them. Here are a few things that we should all know about thank you notes:

#1: Everyone can and should send them, including kids.

The handwritten note has become somewhat of an obsolete gesture, due in part to our dependence upon technology. An email or a text is faster, easier, and less expensive than a postage stamp. However, most people still appreciate receiving the old-fashioned, card-in-an-envelope-with-a-stamp sort of thank you card. And it’s integral to instill the importance of gratitude into your kids, too. A drawing expressing “thank you” is just as good (if not better) than a store-bought card.

#2: Thank you notes help to develop effective communication skills.

Things such as grammar and punctuation come into play less and less once we’re a certain age. However, this does not diminish their importance. Everyone should be able to form a well-thought out and grammatically correct few sentences, sans spelling errors. And the only way to improve your writing skills is to practice them as often as possible. Thank you notes allow you to hone in on your ability to express graceful  sentiment- a skill we should all have.

#3: Thank you notes allow you to reflect upon the things (and people) that matter.

As you write each thank you note, you have no choice but to contemplate the generosity of others. This sort of reflection allows you to recognize the good in other people, which can in turn affect your own happiness in a positive and healthy way. There is no better way to foster joy than to recognize gratitude inside yourself.


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