In today's world, we're always looking for what's bigger and better, oftentimes forgetting about or neglecting to appreciate what we already have. Mom and dad always taught us to say, "thank you," but are we applying the actions behind what comes from our lips? Thankfulness is less about the words and more about the sentiment behind them. "Thanks" is easy to say, but gratitude goes far deeper.
Acknowledging others is the goal – making them feel appreciated, but gratitude helps us too. According to Greater Good Magazine, "People who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits – physical, psychological, and social." Who knew being thankful could lead to a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, more optimism and happiness, and greater compassion, to name a few of its perks? "When we appreciate the value of something, we extract more benefits from it; we're less likely to take it for granted."
Yet today we are full of quick fixes. Texting is the go-to form of communication for nearly any instance, including saying thanks. In some cases, a simple text can be appropriate and considered etiquette-OK. "Thanks for packing my lunch this morning" or "Thanks for reminding me about that vet appointment" don't require long-winded, personalized sentiments. Sending a calligraphy-embossed card for such a favor would kinda make you seem a tad off-your-rocker! When you need to acknowledge something kind, yet simple, a text would almost always be well-received, particularly if you normally correspond with that person via text. Amp it up with a fun-loving emoji for that cherry on top!
When never to text a thank you? As perChron, "An inappropriate thank-you note sent after a job interview can have a worse effect than sending no thank-you note at all. A thank-you sent via text would also be viewed as too informal, particularly if you work in a conservative field."
Anything "above and beyond," momentous, super-personal, or life-changing deserves far more than a few taps of the digits. When someone has gone the extra mile for you, they ought to know it meant something to you. Something you thought about longer than a couple of seconds between checking your Facebook feed and watching viral videos.
Emailing a thank-you used to be considered taboo, but like anything else, time has changed many folks' perception about this form of modern communication. According to Design Sponge, "If you want to call out the specifics of a gift or event, (email) is a nice way to do that. It's also a nice way to say thank you for a slightly younger generation that is more used to using email for everything. It's good to note that emails are a nice way to say thank you to someone you don't know well enough to ask for an address or contact info."
Email is also acceptable in a workplace scenario, as perMannersmentor. "An example: when you email promised documents just hours after having lunch with vendor(s), coworkers, or clients, you'll want to thank them for lunch." Naturally (and hopefully) you'll have thanked them in person too, but a second acknowledgement makes sense if you are following up soon after.
Taking the time out of your day to write a handwritten note may seem old-fashioned, but the power of the pen is real. Not only is the thought deeply appreciated, but the fact that the recipient can open their mailbox to something other than bills and junk mail is a welcome change.
Grab a piece of pretty stationery, a greeting card, or even some plain paper if that's all you've got. It's the words you write down that count more than what Hallmark hocks for $4.99 per piece. Design Sponge suggests, "Notes are a go-to for financial gifts, holiday or birthday gifts and anything related to work and family. Though they clearly work for anyone in your life, notes tend to imply you know someone well enough to have their address and say thank you."
And don't forget the often-disregarded "thanks for being you" message. We all have that special person (or people) in our lives that we tend to take for granted. Give them a warm feeling of importance and love with an unexpected note of genuine thanks when you're thinking about everything they mean to you.
Check out Lifetime Wishes for some inspiration if you're stumped on how to best show gratitude. This innovative online platform allows you to create meaningful sentiments for someone you care about with an "unlock date" for them to open when the time is right.