“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~William Arthur Ward
Let’s Check In!
Are you feeling the gratitude this month? How did you do with last week’s challenge to write down two things you are grateful for each day? Did you find it easy? Hard? Were you grateful for similar things each day? And have you checked how you score on the Gratitude Questionnaire? Were you surprised with your score? Have you improved your sense of gratitude this month? This week, we’ll take our gratitude practice to the next level, by expressing our gratitude to others. This is perfect for the week of Thanksgiving, where you’ll have ample opportunities to share with the people you love.
Google dictionary defines gratitude as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Synonyms for gratitude include:
Gratitude is defined as a noun, and that is how we have been addressing it throughout our month of gratitude. It is usually seen as a mood, personality trait, or emotional response to others’ behavior. But it’s closely tied to action – such as expressing gratitude or saying thank you. This week, we’re focusing on the outward expression of our gratitude to others.
Express Your Gratitude
Research shows that the actual expression of gratitude to another human being increases the benefits of the gratitude experience. When we interact with others in positive ways, we release bonding and other positive hormones that help us feel more connected to others. Gratitude helps us be more trusting and more social, and in turn, it appears to deepen our relationships. When we see that we have made someone else feel good, we often get a boost of positive emotions as well. Expressing gratitude has been found to uniquely improve your sense of happiness and reduce your feelings of depression.
Reach Out and Thank Someone
Are you ready for this week’s challenge? Take some time this week to thoughtfully express your gratitude to another person. This is more than just a cursory “thank you” – sit down with the person and tell them how they made you feel. Maybe you won’t see the person that you want to express your gratitude to in the next week? No worries! You can write a letter (or …let’s be real: an email, or text, or maybe even a snap?). For those of us who have difficulty expressing ourselves, it might be easier to express your gratitude in a hand written letter and then deliver it in person. If you can, it helps to be able to see the person receive your feedback. Let the person know exactly what they did and how you benefited from the action. Take a moment to allow you both to savor the experience and reflect on how it feels to express your gratitude.
And have a wonderful Thanksgiving!