06 January, 2012

Gratitude

Parade Magazine ran an article about gratitude last weekend. It was a good reminder as the new year starts to focus on the positive, to be thankful for what is around you. The author of the piece noted that the process of writing thank you notes changed their perception and actually the gesture of gratitude came back to him.

It is too easy to get caught up in the negative, in what is going wrong, in what we don't have. But what if we chose to look the other way - to what we can have?

Here are their four simple steps for expressing gratitude:


GRAB A PEN AND PAPER. 
Refrain from sending an email. Handwritten notes feel special, almost like the person is there with you. I use plain off-white cards that have my name printed on the front and my name and address on the envelope.

BE SPECIFIC.

Perhaps start by thanking the people who just gave you holiday presents. Open with “Dear So-and-So,” identify the gift (“the red and white tie”), and say one sincere thing about why you like it (“It’s a perfect match for my blue suit”).

DIG INTO THE PAST.

After thanking your close friends and family, write to people who helped you at critical moments. I reached out to the doctor whose operation cured my pain, and to another doctor who told me I needed to stop drinking.

KEEP IT SHORT.

Your message doesn’t need to be long and eloquent—my cards are small, with room for only three or four sentences. By sticking to a few lines, you keep the focus on your thank-you and on the other person’s kindness. 



Whatever the reason stop and notice what there is to be thankful for and write it down.

THXTHXTHX is a thank you note a day about whatever the author encounters. Some times it is directed to a person, other times it's for an event. It's entertaining if nothing else. 

Here is one of my favs from THXTHXTHX.



Gratitude - let me know how it goes.



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© Amanda Lunday