You may be grateful for your friends, family, health, and circumstances, but it may be difficult to know how to express that gratitude. To truly express your appreciation, you must be kind, open, and on a mission to make people feel better about themselves. Don’t be shy; take the time you need to tell people how much they mean to you. Just keep in mind that a grateful life is a happier life.
Method 1 Expressing Gratitude for Your Loved Ones
1. Make thank-you cards. “Thank you” cards aren’t just for teachers; you can give them to anyone who has had a positive impact on your life. You can send these cards to your best friend at any time, and you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to do so. Sending a card expressing your gratitude to a loved one just because is one of the simplest ways to demonstrate your appreciation for the person’s presence in your life.
If you feel that everything you want to say will not fit in a card, you can write a “thank you” letter.
Mail the cards to your friends, even if they live just a few blocks away, to demonstrate that you’ve gone out of your way.
2. Do something nice for your friends just because. If you want to express your gratitude, you should not do favours for your friends simply because they have recently helped you or because you want something in return. Instead, assist them simply because you care about them and want to make their day easier. This can include offering to pick up coffee or lunch when they are busy, babysitting or walking your friend’s dog, or finding another small way to make a big difference in your friend’s life.
Keep your eyes peeled. Look into how you can truly assist your friend. If your friend appears tired, offer to take her dog for a walk while she sleeps. If her room is a shambles, offer to assist her in organising it. Your friend may not even be aware of what she requires until you point it out to her.
Of course, your friends should occasionally do you favours in return. You don’t want to have the impression that people are taking advantage of your generosity.
3. Tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them. Without even realising it, you may be taking your family members for granted. If you want to show your family members how much you appreciate them, all you have to do is remember to tell them every day that you love them and that you appreciate all of the love, rides, food, help, and other offerings they have given you.
Tell them in person, by card, or by phone. Do it frequently. Your family members may be the people you take the most for granted, so it’s critical to express your true feelings.
Give them your time to show them how much they mean to you. Make family time by watching movies, playing board games, or cooking together. A time commitment is one way to express gratitude.
Help out around the house more than usual. Don’t wait for your mother to ask you to do an extra load of laundry for her; instead, take the initiative and surprise her.
4. Give thoughtful gifts. Gratitude isn’t about buying the most expensive or extravagant gift money can buy; rather, it’s about finding a way to show how much the person means to you that demonstrates thought and care. If your friend has been raving about her favourite book for years, invite her to a surprise reading with the author or get her an autographed copy or first edition; if your friend enjoys yoga but finds it too expensive, get her a one-month pass to demonstrate how much you care.
Take note of what your friends and family members say. If one of your friends mentions a new favourite band, buy concert tickets for the next time the band comes to town.
If your mother expresses an interest in learning to cook more Italian food, get her a cookbook to help her get started.
You don’t have to wait for a birthday or a holiday to give a gift; sometimes the best gifts are given simply because they are.
5. Send some flowers. Flowers aren’t just for birthdays and other special occasions. You can send flowers to a friend or family member to show how much you care and to brighten their day. When you’re feeling especially grateful for a friendship, or simply want to say hello to a distant friend, call a florist in your friend’s area and order a bouquet of flowers that you know will brighten your friend’s day.
If you can find a sneaky way to find out what your friend’s favourite flowers are ahead of time, you can create a personalised bouquet.
6. Something should be baked. Making banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, or another of your friend’s favourite desserts can really brighten their day. Delivering cookies to your friend’s front door, or even mailing cookies to a friend in another country, can make a significant difference in your friend’s life. This is an excellent way to express gratitude because everyone understands how much time and effort goes into baking, and your friend or loved one will see that you genuinely care and are grateful for everything he or she has done for you.
Baking is a great way to express your gratitude if you know the person needs a little cheering up. Chocolate or sweets can make almost anyone feel better, and it’s a great way to show how much you care.
7. Respect the wisdom of your elders. Another way to show your appreciation is to show your elders how much they mean to you. Whether you are close to your grandparents or simply spend time with older people, it is important to show them how much you appreciate them and to be as kind to them as possible. This is a wonderful way to express gratitude and demonstrate that they do make a difference in your life and the lives of others.
Listen to what they have to say and don’t dismiss them as out of touch. Most of the time, they have a lot more to teach you than you have to teach them.
8. Assist someone in cleaning up. Another way to show your appreciation to friends and family members is to assist them in cleaning their homes, cars, or anything else that requires a quick clean. Cleaning up a person’s environment can help bring clarity of mind and take an unpleasant task off the person’s plate. Check to see if your parents or friends truly require cleaning assistance, or simply clean to surprise them as a way of expressing gratitude.
If you’re cleaning as a surprise, make sure the person is okay with you touching his or her belongings and doesn’t feel like his or her privacy has been violated.
If you’ve been a guest in someone’s home for a few days, cleaning up is a great way to show your appreciation.
9. Make a list of all the nice things people have done for you. Another way to show your appreciation to someone you care about is to make a list of all the wonderful things he or she has done for you, from teaching you how to make an amazing pasta salad to being there for you in a time of need. You can make this list for your boss, a family member, or a friend; knowing that he or she is appreciated will make the person feel great.
You can even make the list more elaborate and decorative so that the person can hang it up to feel even better! You can even frame it for the person if you really want to go all out.
10. Listen. Another way to show your appreciation to someone you care about is to be available to lend a listening ear. Simply being present for someone and giving him or her the time of day can be one of the most effective ways to make someone feel loved and appreciated. Instead of interrupting or planning your response in your head, simply sit down with the person, turn off your phone, make eye contact, and take the time to truly hear them out. In this multitasking society, few people feel like they are being heard, and you can show the person how much you care by making an effort to listen.
Don’t give advice unless the person specifically requests it. Sometimes the best you can do is simply be present.
If you don’t think it will help, don’t compare the person’s experiences to your own. Instead, listen to what the person has to say on his or her own terms.
11. Recognize the individual in public. Another way to show gratitude is to thank someone in front of others. You should not do this in such a way that embarrasses the person, but you should express how much the person means to you and how hard he or she has worked for you. A few sentences at work, during a dinner toast, or at a small gathering of friends can make someone feel even more special about his or her role in your life.
Just make sure it comes across as genuine and not as if you’re sucking up. Make certain that you truly mean it and that you have specific examples to demonstrate how much you care.
Allowing others to see how much a person means to you can instil great pride in that person.
Method 2 Expressing Gratitude for Strangers
1. Carry out a random act of kindness. One of the best ways to express your gratitude for the world around you is to perform a random act of kindness. You can pay the toll of the car in front of you anonymously, send flowers to a stranger, put some change in a stranger’s expired parking metre, or do someone a courtesy just because. The best part is that your act is anonymous, so you’re doing good without getting credit for it. Here are some additional options:
Donate money or clothes to a charity.
Teach someone a new skill.
Listen to someone who is lonely.
Help a person find his way.
Pay for coffee for the person behind you
2. Offer to assist. You can express your gratitude to strangers by offering to assist them when they are in need. Though you don’t have to go above and beyond, you can assist a lady with groceries to her car, a man with heavy packages by holding the door for him, or a waitress clean up a large spill during a busy time. Making an effort to assist others, no matter how big or small, is a wonderful way to express gratitude.
Look for opportunities to assist others. While you do not have to be pushy, many people are afraid to ask for help when they need it.
3. Smile. Simply smiling at someone can brighten his day and show him that you care. A simple smile can make a person feel appreciated and better about his or her day, whether you’re walking down the street, sitting across from you on the bus, or serving you coffee. You have no idea what a stranger’s life is like, and as sad as it may seem, your smile may be the only one he or she sees that day.
Smiling at people in customer service, whether they are ringing you up for a sandwich or assisting you in purchasing a cell phone, can express your appreciation especially well. These people work long hours and frequently lack gratitude, but you can change that.
4. Please leave a tip. Giving a tip to someone who has done an excellent job is one way to express your appreciation. This can include leaving a large tip with a kind note for your waitress, tipping the delivery man, or even putting some coins in a tip jar at your local cafe. This small gesture can have a significant impact on the morale and financial situation of the people you are assisting.
Leaving a note to tell your waiter or the person who assisted you how much he or she meant to you can really brighten their day. Many people go through their entire workday feeling completely unappreciated.
5. Be considerate of those around you. Another way to show your appreciation is to be as respectful to those around you as possible. Respect other people’s space by not crowding them; respect their ears by not talking loudly on your phone in a quiet public place; and be kind and polite to strangers when you’re in the same room as them. Simply making an effort to treat others with the respect and kindness they deserve is one way to express your gratitude to the world.
Treat others as you would like to be treated. Don’t invade their personal space or privacy, and don’t make them feel inferior to you. Offer your seat on the bus to them. Smile at someone who appears to be in mourning. Allow a person on crutches to pass you by.
Good manners are an excellent way to demonstrate respect. Avoid cursing, chewing with your mouth open, and interrupting others.
Give others your full attention, show interest in what they’re saying, and fully listen to them.
6. Make an effort to be a good citizen. Another way to show your appreciation to the world is to strive to be a good citizen. This includes parking your car in a single location, cleaning up your own mess, allowing pedestrians to cross in front of your car, cleaning the lint out of your communal dryers, and doing anything else that demonstrates a respect for society as a whole. If you litter or leave your shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot, it demonstrates that you are not grateful enough for all of your advantages to keep things in order.
Keep in mind that the world is not your personal garbage dump. Always remember to put things back where they belong rather than expecting someone else to do the cleaning for you.
Perform your civic responsibilities. Vote in presidential and local elections, don’t complain about jury duty, and pay your taxes.
7. Pay someone a compliment. Giving a compliment to those around you is another way to express your gratitude. Because we’re talking about strangers, you don’t have to say anything extreme or make people feel uncomfortable, but a simple, “Cool shirt!” or “I love those flowers you’re holding!” can make someone feel special and important. Make it a goal to find one thing to compliment today, and you’ll soon make it a habit.
Look for things that are one-of-a-kind, unusual, or truly original. If you see someone wearing an amazing shirt with foxes wearing bow ties on it, you should compliment them because there’s a good chance the person wearing it is very proud of this particular item.
Don’t be afraid to compliment someone on their beautiful smile. Just make sure you don’t say it in a way that could be misconstrued as a come on.
Method 3 Living a More Grateful Life
1. Maintain a gratitude journal. If you want to make gratitude a habit, start keeping a gratitude journal in which you write down everything you’re thankful for each week. Simply choose a day of the week to do it, such as a Sunday afternoon, and make a list of at least 10-20 things you’re thankful for that week. You may believe that you don’t have much to be thankful for, but if you take the time to think about it, you’ll realise that there is plenty to be thankful for in your life.
If you read your journal once a month, you will be able to see how much you truly have to be grateful for.
You can even tape your list to the wall above your computer to keep yourself motivated throughout the day.
2. Practice yoga. Yoga is all about practising gratitude and offering your mind and body in a grateful and contented gesture. If you want to incorporate gratitude into your daily life, attend at least 2-3 yoga classes per week and say “Namaste” to express how grateful you are for every breath you take. You can also do yoga at home if that makes you feel more at ease making your offerings.
Yoga practise entails putting aside your judgement and being grateful for the healthy body you have been given. It entails giving it all to the world, greeting the sun, and feeling grateful for everything you have been given.
Yoga is about going at your own pace and not envying your neighbor’s skills or experience. This can also help you develop a more grateful attitude toward the rest of the world.
3. Volunteer. Volunteering is another way to express your gratitude for all of the advantages you have in life. Regardless of how busy you are, you can try to set aside a few hours each month to tutor at your local library, work at a soup kitchen, assist at your local school, or clean up a park in your community. One of the best ways to truly express gratitude is to make an effort to build a community and focus on someone other than yourself.
Being in the company of people who have far less than you does serve as a reminder that nothing should be taken for granted. These people may also be able to teach you how to be truly grateful.
4. On social media, express your gratitude. Too many people use social media to mock others or to complain about their lives or the state of the world. Though there are plenty of reasons to complain and more than a few reasons to be down on the world, you should try to break the mould every now and then by posting a message about something you’re grateful for or thanking someone for brightening your day. This is an excellent way to express gratitude to a large number of people at once, and it requires little effort.
It doesn’t have to be corny to call out one of your friends to thank her for everything she’s done for you. People will appreciate it as long as it comes from the heart.
Give others something to be thankful for as well. Tell us a fun fact about food, nature, or kittens. It does not have to be solemn. You’ll be doing a good thing as long as you avoid the general trend of posting the most depressing news articles and complaining about the world.
5. Make as few complaints as possible. If you truly want to express gratitude, you should refrain from complaining as much as possible. Though it can feel good to let it all out at times, you should make a habit of talking about the positive aspects of your life far more than the negative. If all you do is complain about work, it will not appear that you are grateful to have a job. If you constantly complain about your significant other, you will not be expressing gratitude for his love and support. Work on being optimistic rather than finding reasons to complain, and you’ll be on your way to expressing gratitude more frequently.
If you complain all the time, you won’t be able to see all the good in your life. Though everyone has something to be upset about, you should concentrate on verbalising everything you’re grateful for, and you’ll be well on your way to expressing gratitude in a much more acceptable manner.
6. Make more affectionate gestures. Another way to show your gratitude is to be more affectionate with those you care about. Be more comfortable giving hugs, putting your arm around a loved one, and kissing your children or significant other. Spend more time cuddling with your partner, and the next time you see a friend, go for a hug rather than just a wave or a smile. Being affectionate demonstrates how much you value all of the people in your life.
Make sure the person you’re hugging is also a hugger. It’s important to be affectionate, but you also don’t want to make people feel awkward.
To show how much you care, kiss your significant other at least twice a day.
7. Stop slandering others. If you want to live a more grateful life, avoid gossiping about others as much as possible. Instead, concentrate on saying nice things behind people’s backs and feeling good about the people around you. Rather than spreading rumours or putting people down, work on uplifting them. Show that you care about and appreciate the people in your life by not dragging their names through the mud.
Furthermore, if your friends discover that you are saying nice things about them behind their backs, they will begin to say nice things about you when you are not present. This is a fantastic way to spread good karma!
8. Keep an open mind. Being present in the moment rather than worrying about something that happened in the past or planning for the future is a major way to live a more grateful life. Living in the moment allows you to appreciate every breath you take, every smile you see, and every bite of food you eat, and if you focus on enjoying the journey, you’ll be able to be much more grateful every second of the way.
Write down your worries or fears in a journal, or simply schedule a daily worry time for yourself. This will keep you from spending your entire day worrying about the future.
Try not to hold grudges or become engrossed in the past. Instead of being resentful of the relationships you have now, be grateful for the ones you have now.
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