When was the last time you found a thank you card in your mailbox or a gift of appreciation at your door? Conversely, when was the last time you sent one? You know it feels fantastic when someone recognizes and acknowledges your kindness. So why don’t we do it more?
Beyond the good manners part of the equation, there are plenty of studies on how gratitude boosts your health and overall well-being.
But we get busy with life and despite all our good intentions, we don’t implement. I sheepishly admit that even as someone who talks about and promotes the concepts and benefits of gratitude every day, my attempts to be more grateful for all the situations and circumstances in my life often fall short too.
In 5 Minutes a Day
So here’s a simple way to incorporate thankfulness into each day in only five minutes.
How do you start your day? Is it with a hot cuppa? As a tea snob, I use my love of tea as an impetus for gratitude. (My favorite at the moment is an organic Oolong.) Admittedly though, it’s not really the tea that improves your feelings of gratitude. You can use coffee or whatever your morning beverage of choice is.
2 Ways to Recognize Blessings
1. Every time you make a cup of tea, in the 3-5 minutes you’re waiting for it to steep, take a few deep breaths and remember three things from the past 24 hours for which you are grateful. No matter how bad or whiny a mood you’re in, and especially if you live in a first world country, you most certainly can pull a memory of three things in your life that you appreciate.
You can start with you have tea! Did you sleep on clean sheets with a warm blanket last night? There’s #2. Do you have running water for a shower or bath? Do you cook your food over an open fire or with an appliance to which you have reliable electricity or gas? Got any friends? A crazy cat? A loyal dog?
I’m sure you can come up with all kinds of incredible blessings for which to give thanks.
No need to write them down in a special journal with a sparkly pen (of course you can if you’d like). Simply take a few moments of your wait and use them productively. See how much better your tea tastes now?*
2. Back to the question of sending thank yous. Someone does something nice for you and you intend to send a gift or a card. But somehow weeks go by, you don’t get to it and now it’s embarrassing. Based on experience, planning ahead allows you to take action in just a few moments whenever the opportunity to show gratitude appears.
Writing thank you notes seems to have become a lost art. If one is inclined to say thank you at all, it’s by shooting off a quick email. Sure, it’s better than not even acknowledging a kindness. But there’s a different level of satisfaction, for both the sender and recipient, when there’s a more tangible exchange of appreciation.
Make it easy to do by keeping a few basic notecards on hand. You can certainly find beautifully designed ones or go with simple white. Get a book of forever stamps and a pen in your favorite color. Put them together in your office or wherever you’re most likely to sit down and write. Now when you find an occasion, you’re ready to go.
If you’re inspired to send more than a card, you may find it convenient to come up with a go-to gift that’s suitable for everyone. It doesn’t need to be extravagant and you don’t have to spend a lot to make a great impression.
You won’t be surprised to learn I recommend tea as a nice appreciation gift – for friends, colleagues or clients. It’s easy to keep a few packages of loose-leaf tea and a tea cup or pot or infuser on hand. They don’t get stale quickly and you won’t need to continuously think about what to get or keep adding “get a gift” to your to-do list every day. You can easily write a three-sentence note, drop your gift in the mail and move on to the next thing!
You’ll feel good for sharing your gratitude. Your recipient will feel appreciated when receiving and opening the package and again every time they use and enjoy your gift. Gratitude reigns and in a very important way, you’ve made the world a better place.
What’s your favorite go-to gratitude gift? Leave a comment in the section below and let’s compare notes!
*I’ve been watching the Ted Lasso series on AppleTV lately and as
I was writing this, I had to laugh to myself because Ted absolutely despises
tea. He calls it “garbage water.” Maybe he’d like it better if he added some
gratitude to it? 🤣