Friday, February 15, 2008

Thank You

I've been pondering gratitude for awhile now. Even some of my best friends turn up their noses at the notion that thanking someone or being grateful, can actually have a significant impact on the psyche. Now I'm thinking of the client, depressed for months, who said, very loudly, yelling I believe: "Why is everyone telling me to volunteer at the homeless shelter? Like that's going to make me less depressed!!!!!"

That complaint notwithstanding, research shows that performing acts of kindness, counting one's blessings, keeping a weekly gratitude log, and the like, do improve our sense of well-being. I suppose part of it is about merely thinking in terms of gratitude. To come up with five acts of kindness in one day as was the method in one study, you'd have to start spending quite a bit of time considering how to actually do that. All that time would then be spent in positive thinking.

I'll be at the soccer fields most of the weekend. Offer someone a bottle of water. Tell the team manager she's doing a great job. Thank the coach for his efforts...okay, especially if we lose. Let someone in line at the restroom. Thank my friends for coming to watch. Alright, not too difficult.

At the office? Thank the secretary for sorting my mail. Thank someone for getting in touch with me. Buy a box of chocolate for the office (always a winner) for no particular occasion. Give my colleague a late birthday card. Thank a colleague for referring a client.

Okay, not so difficult. But you do have to take the time. And sometimes it's going to take a little more thought. What if you stay home alone all day? Send a thank you email? Why not.

Thanks for reading my blog.

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