Create Space for Gratitude
Though plenty of benefits could result after you embrace the etiquette of thank-you notes (A job! Continued birthday money from Great Aunt Sue!), it’s the intangible return that may be the most valuable. A feeling of increased personal connection creates a virtuous cycle, rewarding both giver and receiver.
Princess Diana was known for sitting down at the close of each day to write her thank-you notes. Wouldn’t you expect it to work the other way around? That the folks she met with ought to have been the ones writing? (I’m betting they did.)
That’s the thing about gratitude: no matter how high or low one’s station, there’s plenty to be thankful for, plenty of people who merit our appreciation. Research shows that intentionally counting our blessings can improve our well-being, our sleep, even our marriages.
Whether a handwritten note on lovely monogrammed stationery, a brief message written in marker on the back of a child’s drawing, a phone call or text—why not make thank-you notes part of our everyday routines? The small extra effort to express thanks will encourage everyone involved.
While I don’t enjoy the same level of social engagements as Princess Di (and while she probably had someone to clean the kitchen at the end of each day), I’m inspired by the spirit of daily thank-you notes—a daily practice in gratitude.