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Gratitude: A Catalyst for Happiness

Showing Appreciation to Those Around You

At Work

Handwritten Notes

With emails and texts, this gesture of the past is of priceless value nowadays. Going the extra step to sit down with pen and paper is purposeful, personal and will definitely make whoever receives it feel significant and worthy of your time.  

“You’ve Been Mugged!”

This is a great idea to treat someone anonymously. Fill a coffee mug with items they will enjoy or use: candy, gum, pens/pencils, keychains, gift cards, individual coffees or powdered drinks, granola bars, bookmarks, fancy paperclips/magnets, lip gloss, coupons, etc., an unsigned note, and leave it secretly where the chosen employee will be sure to find it. This can become an excellent morale booster as coworkers “mug each other” by refilling the mug and passing it on to someone else. 

Small Talk

So much work conversation revolves around projects, deadlines, data, goals and to-do lists, but it is incredibly important to get to know the people you spend so much of your time with. Facilitating opportunities or taking advantages of ones that arise to have non-business conversations makes a world of difference in making people feel cared about, building morale and creating a work environment where people matter. 

Don’t forget the little people; secretaries, janitors, cafeteria workers, security personnel and assistants are just some of the people who tend to get overlooked as the “big dogs” get all the acknowledgment and recognition time and time again. Take time to give people in positions like this attention because they are the ones behind the scenes greasing the gears for success.   

At Home

Take on Someone Else’s Chores

Taking on a task that someone doesn’t have time to complete or doesn’t particularly enjoy doing will absolutely inspire in them an attitude of gratitude! 

Make Someone’s Favorite Meal/Dessert

Breakfast, lunch or dinner; a whole meal, side dish or sweet treat—cook it, bake it or special order it. The way to anyone’s heart is their favorite food! 

Personal Gift

Why wouldn’t you want those closest to you not to feel loved and appreciated? Knowing well their likes, dislikes, desires, passions, talents, hobbies and favorites, you have the perfect opportunity to give a thoughtful, meaningful, uniquely chosen gift to them. 

Mealtime “Thank-Yous”

As you sit down to dinner, take time to go around the table and tell your family members what you appreciate about them in regard to either who they are or what they have done for you.    

In Your Community 

Random Acts of Kindness

There are not enough of these gestures going around, and they can bring so much joy. All it takes is thoughtful awareness of those around you: provide a teacher with supplies, leave unused toys and clothes or bags of groceries on the doorstep of family in need for them to find, take breakfast to the nurses at your local hospital or doctor’s office, drop off baked goods to your neighbor just because, mow your neighbor’s lawn, run an errand for an elderly neighbor who can’t get out easily, or let someone go ahead of you in line. The list is endless. 

Pay It Forward

Leaving a larger than normal tip, taking care of the toll of the car behind you, paying for someone’s meal or coffee, and putting coins in surrounding parking meters are easy ways to delight those you encounter.   

Share/Volunteer Your Skills

Everyone has something they are good at (maybe expertly so!) or something they find passion and joy in doing. Contributing your writing skills to help write resumes, your photography skills to do free holiday family photos, your love of learning and children to be a classroom teacher’s helper, or your compassionate heart and open arms to rock/hold/love on NICU babies will be a great blessing to those around you. 

Sidewalk Notes

Encouraging words and positive phrases to read as you walk are easy, sweet ways to add some extra sunshine to anyone’s day. 

Donate Blood/Plasma

What better way is there to give back than by giving the gift of life? According to the American Red Cross, approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S., and nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S.