‘Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world’ – John Milton, poet and civil servant
Regular gratitude is the foundation of every stong relationship we can have, whether romantic or otherwise. It comes in extremely handy even in the workplace.
We should take every opportunity we have to show how grateful we are, even when someone has performed the simplest of tasks.
When I was teaching, it was something I fell short with. As I felt less and less appreciated, I showed less and less gratitude to the students for any good behaviour or work they did. I saw it as their duty. Big mistake.
The same goes in all walks of life, from the kitchen to the office to the supermarket. People don’t have to do what they do.
Never let someone feel unappreciated or like their efforts are expected.
Here are five simple ways I try to display my gratitude to others.
Keep your eyes peeled
Always be ready to pick up a small, impromptu gift for a lover or friend. It reminds them how grateful you are that they are simply in your world.
This doesn’t have to break the bank. It could be their favourite chocolate bar, fruits or magazine.
For me and my other half, it’s usually picking up a packet of our favourite crisps when we pass Sainsburys or Asda!
If you have some time to yourself, why not put in extra effort and create something heartfelt and handmade?
One of my top gifts I ever landed on was a jar of home-mixed fajita spice – a moving-in present for a friend who’s particularly good at fajitas.
You could bake their favourite cake or perhaps give card-making a go, adding in a special personal message of thanks.
Me and Alex have nicknames for each other which lended themselves to cartoon characters, so from time to time I draw these two little personalities along with a message. No amount of money can make a thank you card that fantastic.
If you happen to be passing a café, shop or pub with your friend or loved one, consider nipping in. Splash out on a fresh cup of coffee or tea. Treat them to a beer. Buy them their favourite sandwich for lunch or a muffin to snack on.
I’ve even done this for colleagues because I walk past a little coffee shop at the entrance to my place of work.
Cut out the middle man
Do you have a garden of your own filled with flowers and interesting foliage? I like to cut some in-season blooms, tie them together and deliver them myself to someone as a birthday present.
Forget InterFlora or the supermarket.
Save them the hassle
Do something for someone that they won’t enjoy doing or maybe don’t have a lot of time to get done.
Next time you go to your friend’s house for a cuppa, hop into the kitchen and clean the pots first. Even do any that they left from earlier and will have to eventually wash.
When your parents walk in from the supermarket laden with bags, take some and put it away for them.
Cleaning your own car? Consider doing your other half’s vehicle too, if they’re around.
These are just five simple things you can do to make someone special in your life really feel special. There are unlimited amounts of things you could do besides these, and unique things will spring to mind based on your friends and family.
Showing our gratitude not only bolsters our relationships with others, but also our own sense of wellbeing and harmony.
And do remember to show yourself gratitude regularly. This could be listing three or four stand-out positives from your week.
A Saturday night glass of wine for a week’s hard work.
An hour of your favourite TV show after an afternoon’s blogging.
Some new clothes for several months’ solid saving.
Above all, remember to just say THANK YOU whenever you can.
I’d love to read what you do to say “thanks” to yourself and those around you! Please leave any ideas in the comments section below, and as ever, thanks for reading =)