Since I started personally spreading thanks each day, I have been experiencing all kinds of wonderful things in my life. But one thing that I don’t talk about often enough is the incredible feeling I get when I receive a card or a letter of appreciation from someone else! So today let me share how it feels to be on the receiving end and how subtle, wonderful, and miraculous that is in its own way.
If you know me at all, you probably know that I’m one of those people who writes and sends out thank you cards. I firmly believe that this practice of spreading thanks has transformed my life in so many great ways. And while I always feel a surge of good feelings when writing my notes, it’s another level of happiness again when I see one for me in my own mailbox.
I just love to get mail addressed personally to me. It’s such a comforting connection I feel, the minute I see the handwriting. Sometimes I recognize it right away and other times — the note or letter is from a stranger. Each kind of mail is thrilling. It’s so unusual these days to see your name neatly written in pen on an envelope, knowing someone cares about you and that they thought enough about you to put a pen to paper.
I never know for sure what the note is about until I open it and I love the anticipation. Sometimes it’s an invitation or a special occasion greeting card, but in my case, most often it’s a note of gratitude. It could be from a friend for some help I gave them. Sometimes it’s from a stranger who found my book, read it and is writing to tell me about their experiences. And yes, I even get thank you notes for a thank you note I had sent them! I feel so honored to get each and every note, regardless of whom it is from.
In my mind, there is no doubt that this is a practice that works for the sender and the receiver in equal measure. It forges an intimate connection between one person and another, and it also has a special ripple effect. What starts out just as a little note on paper, conveying a thank you for something, begins a chain reaction of warmth and love. Once that note is mailed out to another person, it creates a spark that speaks volumes and changes that person’s day for the better. It makes a lasting impression.
Then the recipient goes about their day and the following week with a warm feeling every time they think about the note they received. They feel special, happy and valued, and they spread those good feelings and that goodwill to the people they encounter as they follow along with their daily routines. They smile at the crossing guard and say thank you. They bring in treats for their friends at work on a dreary day. They hold open a door for a frazzled shopper rushing out behind them at the store. Those are the kind of ripple effects that were put in motion by a little thank you note that started the flow of goodness.
How do I know all this you might ask? I know it because I am not only a frequent sender but also a frequent receiver. I have received more than 300 personal notes in the last few years from family, friends, coworkers and strangers! How incredible right? I post them around my office, I show them to other friends. I keep them in a nice box so I can enjoy them any time I want.
And I carry the uplifting feeling of getting a card with me wherever I go. When I receive a card, it reminds me to stay in the flow. I can’t help but pass along the warm feelings and kind gestures each time I’m out.
My wish for you all is that you experience both sides of spreading thanks! And that you smile when you realize that all kinds of daily miracles are happening around you every day as a result of being grateful and sharing that gratitude in a meaningful way with others.
So I say, pick up a pen, join the flow, and start your own cascade of good feelings. It might be the nicest thing you can do for yourself this month! And if you need any further inspiration or how-to tips, please visit my website or get a copy of my book. Thank you so much for sharing your own ideas or experiences below, and thanks for spreading thanks each and every day.
Elena Anguita is a change agent, speaker, and author of Spread Thanks! Create Miracles Through The Power of Ink who supports education and passionately believes in the transformative power of gratitude. You can connect with Elena on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SpreadThanks.com.
Image courtesy of Mathyas Kurmann.