Show gratitude in unconventional ways, 11-15…(Part Three)

The holidays and gratitude go together like peanut butter and jelly. Here are the last thoughts on how to show gratitude which are both genuine and not monetarily focused.

11.  Forgive
This is one of the hardest ways to show gratitude, to forgive someone for hurting you. It can be a challenging, but uplifting experience. We struggle with resentment and anxiety with people who have hurt us, intentional or not. It is especially hard to forgive someone who does not ask for it.  Accepting that people are limited, self-involved in their life bubble can uplift you to release those feelings of hurt, anger and resentment. There are probably books on steps for forgiveness, but maybe just pick just one person this year, think about what happened and then like the lyrics, “Let it Go”.

12. Favor coupons
Offer someone a “get out of jail” card, not literally (unless that’s their thing). Give a coupon for a favor to be used whenever they need it. Offer ideas or a list, “Need help with the yard, a drive to the airport and special errand, help clean after a party…you name it”.   Give a favor coupon as a show of appreciation, usually just costs your time. Print or create an actual coupon or gift certificate. It’s kinda kitschy, but still an awesome way to show gratitude for that person.

13.  Be gracious, always
We are an apologetic society in America. We say sorry a lot. We bump into people at the store, cut in line and mutter sorry without thinking. “Sorry, sorry, sorry” Sadly, we say “Thank you” less. Try to make a habit of saying thank you, when a door is opened, when someone allows you to cut in line when you have 2 items and they have 15.  Try to apologize less and show gratitude more. Be gracious, be thankful and say “Thank you” as much or more than you apologize.

14. Pray
No matter your religion; pray or meditate.  Pray to nature, to God or to the Universe.  Pray, give thanks and accept the gift of life and love. Appreciate the “now” and the blessings you have been given to experience and sadly, appreciate some of the loss, as you are who you are because of it. Pray. Double-blind studies at Harvard indicate that prayer offers  “the relaxation response,” which occurs during periods of prayer and meditation. At such times, the body’s metabolism decreases, the heart rate slows, blood pressure goes down, and our breath becomes calmer and more regular. Be thankful for your life, give thanks to the greatness and your heart will feel peaceful.

15. Look at people like trees
This is a paraphrase of a story worth sharing.     When we look at a group of trees, we see the beauty of the the woods. We understand and appreciate that some trees are bent or crooked as they received less light, some are smaller and weaker as the grew in the shade of a larger tree and some trees are big, strong and tower. When we look at people of similar stature, we are critical and do not see the beauty of the individual. Show gratitude for the many, like trees in the woods, appreciate the beauty of each unique person, limited by the circumstances of their growth. Show gratitude for the many.

This is the last of three posts to creatively show gratitude with meaning and thoughtfulness. Part One and Part Two are available at this links. Thank you for reading.


Andrea Leppert
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