Learn simple, everyday ways to express gratitude and appreciation for others through small acts of kindness. Cultivate daily joy and connection.
Gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful ways to improve our relationships, wellbeing and mental health. Taking a moment to thank someone or appreciate something we often take for granted can make a huge difference in our lives and the lives of others.
In this post, we’ll explore some easy, everyday ways to express more gratitude in your life. Try incorporating a few of these into your daily routine for increased joy, connection and peace of mind.
Say “Thank You”
This may seem obvious, but how often do we neglect to express direct gratitude when someone does something nice for us? Whether it’s a loved one who cooked dinner, a friend who lent a hand or a stranger who held the door open, remember to look them in the eyes and sincerely say “Thank you!” Expressing verbal appreciation makes people feel valued and encourages more kind behavior all around.
Write a Thank You Card or Note
In our digital age, there’s something extra heartfelt about taking the time to hand-write a thank you card or note and pop it in the mail. Consider keeping a stash of cards and stamps on hand so you can easily jot a quick message of thanks when inspired. You can thank someone for a nice dinner, a gift, or simply for being there for you. Hand-written notes stand out and are more meaningful keepsakes than digital messages.
For just $20, you’ll receive access to 10 cards to send out over a 20 day period. Yes, postage is included!
Each day I’ll email you a prompt with a suggestion for who to send one of your cards to that day.
Just think how touched your recipients will feel getting a heartfelt card from you!
Give Small Gifts
Everyone loves receiving a small token of appreciation, whether it’s flowers, chocolate or another inexpensive item tailored to the recipient’s interests. Surprise your significant other, close friend or family member with a gift that reminds them how much you value them. Employers and colleagues also appreciate small gifts like baked goods as a way to say thanks for all they do.
Do a Social Media Shout-Out
If you have a supportive social circle, take to social media to express public appreciation with a shout-out post tagging those you’re grateful for. Share a photo and caption describing what this person means to you or how they positively impact your life. Public praise can deepen bonds and inspire others to show gratitude too.
Smile and Make Eye Contact
Sometimes our body language speaks louder than words when conveying gratitude. Offer a warm, genuine smile when interacting with those who enrich your day, from the barista who makes your coffee to the clerk who rings up your purchase. Make eye contact and thank them sincerely for their service. A small act of silent gratitude can make someone’s day.
Send a Thank You Email
For those you interact with professionally, a thank you email is an easy way to express appreciation for their time or assistance. Whether it’s a coworker who lent a hand on a project or a business contact who took the time to meet with you, a quick email thanking them for their effort makes them feel valued as more than just a transaction. These emails can strengthen relationships and goodwill.
Post a Positive Review
Beyond saying thanks face-to-face, you can express gratitude for good service by leaving a positive review online. Take a few minutes to praise businesses, restaurants, professionals and products you enjoy by name on sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, Amazon, etc. Positive reviews encourage future patronage, boost reputations and morale and show your gratitude as a customer.
While tipping is standard practice for certain professions, consider tipping above and beyond the norm when you receive exceptional service. Surprise your server, barista, hairdresser or delivery driver with a larger than expected tip. Write a thank you note on the receipt explaining you appreciate their hard work. Your generosity will uplift their day and fuel more positive interactions.
Volunteer Your Time
Lend your time and skills to organizations that make a difference in your community. Whether you volunteer at a charity, school, place of worship or other institution, dedicate some hours to supporting their mission as a way to give back. You can express gratitude for the role they play by donating your energy to the cause. Volunteering also builds empathy and connections.
Offer Sincere Compliments
A genuine, specific compliment can make someone’s entire day. Look for opportunities to praise loved ones, colleagues and even strangers for things you admire about them. Thank them for their positive qualities, efforts and accomplishments with descriptive compliments like: “You have a brilliant sense of humor,” “I appreciate your thoughtful advice,” or “You light up the room with your positivity.” Warm compliments build good vibes.
Expressing Gratitude Is Contagious
Living with more gratitude not only makes us feel happier and more connected, but it inspires those around us to spread more thankfulness as well. Each time we sincerely thank someone, we motivate them to pay it forward with appreciation for others. Even a quick “thank you” to a stranger can set off a ripple effect of gratitude.
Gratitude Boosts Our Wellbeing
Cultivating gratitude has been shown in multiple studies to significantly improve both physical and mental health. Taking time to appreciate the positive things, people and experiences in our lives counteracts our brains’ natural negativity bias. Consciously focusing on gratitude boosts production of serotonin and dopamine, chemicals that elevate our mood and foster positive emotions.
Some research-backed benefits of practicing more gratitude include:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Increased happiness and life satisfaction
- Improved self-esteem and optimism
- Stronger relationships
- Better quality sleep
- Lower blood pressure and improved heart health
- Increased empathy, patience and compassion
With all these perks, it’s clear why gratitude is a cornerstone habit for nurturing wellbeing.
Simple Ways to express Daily Gratitude
If you’re inspired to up your gratitude game after reading this, try implementing some of these easy daily practices:
- Begin each morning by listing 3-5 things you’re grateful for.
- Share expressions of gratitude with loved ones throughout the day via text, call or social media.
- Keep a gratitude journal to maintain an ongoing list of people/things you’re thankful for.
- Write thank you notes or emails whenever someone does something thoughtful.
- Thank service people and strangers for minor kindnesses.
- Appreciate small delights throughout the day – a sunny day, a good song, a tasty meal.
- Wind down at night reflecting on moments of gratitude from the day.
When we take time to notice the positive in each day, feelings of thankfulness come more naturally. Gratitude shifts our perspective and fills us with joy. Spread the magic of gratitude, and reap the benefits in your own life.
Gratitude Journals from Our Shop
Michelle D. Garrett is the founder of Divas With A Purpose.
She focuses on sharing resources for being purposely productive; setting personal and professional goals and achieving them through daily action; and successfully running a business while focusing on your mental health. Michelle is a full-time entrepreneur who specializes in teaching female entrepreneurs how to show up consistently in their business – online and off.