Try This Powerful Trick for Showing Gratitude


By Adam Mills Published on November 23, 2016

When the days seem dark and dreary or if nothing seems to be going your way, you may need to change your perspective. One of the most effective ways to do so is by showing gratitude. By acknowledging the good in those around you, you start to realize just how much good there is in the world, and more importantly, in your world.

But just saying “thanks” isn’t always enough—how you show gratitude matters.

Why Handwritten Notes Are So Powerful

There are several reasons to adopt the regular practice of handwriting thank you notes to those in your life:

  1. Handwriting notes creates a longer-lasting feeling of gratitude than electronic messages, just like writing out notecards for studying makes for better remembering.
  2. Expressive writing has been shown to improve neural connections and result in better moods and reduced stress, according to Psychology Today.
  3. Handwritten notes are permanent, so it requires more thought and preparation. This makes it more meaningful to the recipient. Also, handwritten notes can be keepsakes and make for fond memories, especially for those who have passed.
  4. Handwritten notes stand out in a world of text messages and emails. This allows you to build stronger relationships than those who rely on email or text messages.
  5. Handwritten notes are appropriate for every occasion, whether it’s romantic, celebratory, offering condolences, or applauding a co-worker.

Examples of Handwritten Notes

Here are some scenarios for which a handwritten note would be more meaningful and appropriate than an electronic message:

Family: As children, you spent a lot of time with your cousins and extended family. But as you grew up, distance and responsibilities weakened the bonds and you slowly drifted apart. You recently got the news that your cousin is expecting her first baby. You start to think about another generation of cousins playing together like you did when you were younger, and you decide you should send a gift. Instead, write out your thoughts of your fond memories as children, and let her know how excited you are that the family is growing.

Coworkers: You are new to a company and still learning the ropes. There are a lot of people in your department and you feel a little lost amidst the hectic pace in the office. A co-worker noticed your confused look one day and took the time to sit down with you and walk you through how the operations work. You were very appreciative and decide to write a handwritten note of gratitude to build a positive business relationship.

Friends: You feel you’ve lost touch with some of your old friends with whom you used to be close. Even though you all live far away from each other, you decide to send an “I’m thinking of you” note to make sure they know that you value their friendship and still consider them a close friend even though time and distance separates you.

If you adopt this practice of handwriting notes of gratitude, you will begin to feel a sense of community with those you hold dear. You’ll see how helpful and kind those around you really are, and life will seem brighter than ever.