Living In Gratitude: 6 Tips To Composing Heartfelt Thank You Notes

Saying thank you is more than good manners.  It is good spirituality.  ~Alfred Painter

People like being appreciated. Every gift deserves a thank-you, whether it is a material object, a referral, or to express your appreciation for someone’s friendship, acceptance or support.

Although occasionally a thank you email or text message will do, a handwritten note expresses a completely different level of appreciation. It takes added effort and planning (but not much) to actually pen and mail a thank you card, letter or postcard. Even if your handwriting is poor, still hand-write your notes. Do not type them or use a word processor.

Writing thank-you notes is easier than you remember them being as a kid (when your mom had you write thank you cards for every birthday gift received).

The 6 Points for a Perfect Thank You

  1. Greet the Giver

Dear Aunt Maye,

Although it’s the easy part, you’d be surprised how many people forget it.

  1. Express Your Gratitude

Thank you so much for the delicious homemade berry pie you brought to dinner the other night. 

  • Avoid beginning with, “I’m writing to thank you…” That’s stating the obvious
  • When thanking someone for money, use phrases like, “Thank you for your generosity,” or “Your kindness is greatly appreciated.
  • When writing to thank someone for an intangible (such as allowing you to stay with them for a weekend), define what the intangible thing is:  ‘Thank you for your hospitality last weekend.”
  • Don’t worry if it sounds too simple; the point is to create a simple expression of a heartfelt sentiment.

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Living In Gratitude: Unforgettable Thank You Notes

I keep all of my letters, postcards, and thank you notes. I’ll keep them forever! ~Jane Levy

For the most part, technology is incredibly beneficial. It enables us to do a lot more in less time, allowing us to be more efficient and effective. But there are drawbacks. Faster communication has reduced the level of personal connection in daily interactions, especially when it comes to expressing our gratitude.  Instead of a handwritten note, most of us tend to send a quick text or email. But written thank you notes are a small touch that has the potential to leave a lasting impression that make people feel very special.

Handwritten notes may be sent for any occasion after a meeting with an important customer or client, when you receive a gift, or when you’re invited to an event. To ensure a positive response, keep your thank-you notes short, simple, and meaningful.

Here are 3 more tips to keep in mind to write thoughtful thank you notes.

Invest in branded stationery

Order stationery custom-made especially for you rather than purchasing a pack of thank-you cards from the store. The design and style of the card should reflect your personality or personal brand (if using for business thank you notes). It will also be more enjoyable to you, the writer, to use beautiful, personalized stationery. Read more

Living In Gratitude: ‘Thank You’ Has Magic

A simple ‘thank you’ has magic…it warms the heart and creates a moment of connection and peace between two people.

Thank you.

Those two little words hold such exquisite power. Read more

Living In Gratitude: I Am Thankful For…

I am thankful for…

Nights that turned into mornings,

Friends that tuned into family,

And dreams that turned into reality.


What are you thankful for today, in this moment?

Studies show that people who express appreciation as well as those who write down their gratitudes are more satisfied with life. They are generally happier, healthier, and have deeper, more connected relationships. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Compliments Are Gifts

Compliments are gifts. Receive graciously and simply say, “Thank you.”

Everyone appreciates a compliment but many of us don’t know quite how to accept them gracefully.

Compliments can make us feel uncomfortable. We don’t want to appear as though we are ‘tooting our own horn’ by accepting a compliment yet at the same time, we want to enjoy it.

Below are a few tips to graciously accepting the gift of compliments.


The best response when someone compliments you is simply: Thank you.

If that doesn’t feel like enough, try to keep your response short and sincere.

“Thank you, my parents gave this to me and it’s always been one of my favorites,” or 
”Thank you, I really enjoyed presenting to your group,”
 or “Thanks so much, that means a lot to me.“

Accept All Compliment

When we deflect or turn down a compliment, we are basically insult the giver.

Giver: I love your outfit. It was the perfect thing to wear to this event.

Receiver: Oh, this old thing? I grabbed it out of the back of my closet.  I don’t really like it, but it was too late to find something better.

That response informed the person who complemented you that they have poor taste. Now they are wondering why they offered you a compliment to begin with.

What should you have said? Thank you.

Don’t Make Yourself Look Bad

Your manager told you that you did a fantastic job on a project. You don’t want to sound arrogant, so to downplay it,  you point out all the things you should have done better. “Thanks, but I wish we would have finished earlier.” Or “I didn’t do much. The team really made this project happen.” While it is important to give credit to the right people, don’t reject credit you’ve rightfully earned.

By pointing out your mistakes or giving full credit to others, your manager may decide you’re right.

Avoid Arrogance

Overconfidence comes across as rude. If someone tells you your project was the best, or your outfit is fantastic, don’t agree. Simply say. “Thank you”.

Was that Compliment Sincere?

There are times you may question the sincerity of the compliment. Was the person being sarcastic, snide, or superficial? What were they really trying to say? It doesn’t matter. It’s not your job to judge the giver’s intentions when you receive a compliment.

Just say, “Thank you”.

When someone presents it to you, accept the gift of a compliment graciously.

May your day be filled with gratitude and good things.

Excerpts from SmartTalk.

Living In Gratitude: Express Gratitude

The expression of gratitude is a kind of meta-strategy for achieving happiness. ~ Sonja Lyubomirsky

Gratitude is many things to many people but it is so much more than simply saying ‘thank you’.

  • Gratitude is wonder.
  • It is appreciation.
  • It is looking on the bright side after a setback.
  • It is thanking the people who support you.  Read more

Living In Gratitude: Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.

By taking time to show your gratitude for the small things in life, you will open your eyes and heart to the tremendous amount you have to be grateful for.

If you’re not used to appreciating the little things, take baby steps. Start with being aware of those seemingly insignificant and trivial things. Make a mental note of one or two things a day that you appreciated. Maybe even start a gratitude journal and jot these items down each day.

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Gratitude: Candy For Your Doctor? How Appreciation Changes The Interaction

Appreciation can be a kind of wake-up call. It can spark aliveness and connection in both the receiver and the giver. Below is a description of a study that utilized candy to measure the response of doctors.

I liked the idea and put my own version to work:

Recently I visited a new doctor for my annual check-up. Instead of candy, I brought with me, as a gift, one of the Gratitude Habitat bookmarks. Written on it is, “Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.”  My appointment was at the end of the day. Dr. S. looked a bit tired. As I handed her the bookmark I simply said, “Thank you for the work you do.” She stopped, read it, took a breath and shared a story of how the day before, she told her ailing father how much she appreciated him and how important it was for him to be grateful, too. They talked about what they appreciated about each other and about life. She said that his spirit was lifted and his voice grew stronger. Her facial expression and voice tone were soft and open. Clearly a special moment was created.

My new doctor said to me, “This is a perfect gift for me. Thank you.”

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Living In Gratitude: The Prayer of Thank You

If the only prayer you ever say in your life is ‘thank you’, that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

Two of the most profound words we have in our vocabulary are ‘thank you’. Gratitude is infinite and when we express our appreciation, we are, by definition, offering a prayer. Read more

Living In Gratitude: Thank You

I am ever grateful that you are in my life.

Ask yourself:

  • Who am I grateful for today?
  • How can I express my gratitude to these people?

Make a point of showing your appreciation the people who love and support you. Say thank you, give small gifts, offer your support, send an unexpected text, email or note telling that person how much you value them. Read more