- Show thanks in a quiet and more personal way.
- Consistently sharing genuine thanks with those around us can help us feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
- Expressing gratitude helps people feel more connected.
- Make a plan to share.
Season of Giving Thanks
November is a time when we take a careful look at gratitude, the most impactful habit that increases our happiness. We see decorative pumpkins exclaiming, Give Thanks. We see paper goods shouting, Thankful. These sentiments are everywhere this time of year.
The exclamations and shouts of gratitude are good, but what’s even better? Showing our thanks in a quiet, more personal way.
When someone thanks you for something you’ve said or done, how do you feel? Appreciated. Acknowledged. Seen. A force for good.
The Power of Saying Thanks
Science can help explain why. A 2021 article published by Harvard was titled, “Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier.” The article claimed that saying thank you is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Consistently sharing genuine thanks with those around us can help us feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. The study goes on to say that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner felt more positive toward the other person and felt more comfortable expressing honest feelings, even if those feelings were a part of an uncomfortable or challenging conversation.Consistently sharing genuine thanks with those around us can help us feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Click To Tweet
Think about some of your most comfortable relationships—your partner, children, best work friend, or students. Would you say they receive more or less overt thanks? In my experience, those I am closest to receive the least amount of thanks. Sometimes I automatically expect them to do things to help me or say things to encourage me.
November is a perfect time to make those close to me feel appreciated, acknowledged, and seen. They need to know they are a force for good at work or at home.
Our invitation this month is to genuinely thank at least one person a day for something, anything! I have been doing this, and it is undoubtedly contributing to my overall happiness (and yes, I even set a mid-day reminder to be sure this happens)! Here are just a few (underwhelming!) examples of how I have overtly thanked those around me at work or at home:
- Saying thank you to my husband for helping with errands and meals during a busy work season (and when I was gone for Teach Better 22!).
- Thanking my kids when they do something that makes me laugh and let them know how much I appreciate their humor.
- Offering thanks to my close work colleagues who did something behind the scenes to save me time (and sanity!).
- Thanking a mentor for all she has done to support and love her mentee.
- Sharing gratitude to a new team member for her energy, dedication, and quality work.
- Saying thank you to my boss for showing up in ways most leaders don’t naturally show up.
- Leaving a voicemail to a friend to thank her for being a compassionate listener.
These moments of gratitude take no more than 10 seconds. Quietly saying thank you is a gentle and generous way to strengthen and nurture relationships with those who contribute to our overall happiness and success.
In this autumnal season of gratitude and abundance, let’s see what we can do to extend our genuine thanks to those in our personal and professional lives. I can’t imagine a better way to strengthen and protect our headspace and heart space before we enter the busy month of December.
Recognize the good.
Reach out to your people.
Small Shifts. BIG Gifts!
This month, try to reach out to someone in your personal or professional life and thank them for contributing to your overall happiness. As you genuinely express thanks, see if it makes a positive impact on the way you feel.
About Suzanne Dailey
Suzanne Dailey is a proud member of the Teach Better Family! She is an instructional coach in the Central Bucks School District where she has the honor and joy of working with elementary teachers and students in 15 buildings. Suzanne is Nationally Board Certified, a Fellow of the National Writing Project, and has a master’s degree in Reading. She is dedicated to nurturing and developing the whole child and teacher. Suzanne lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.
Check out the Teach Happier Podcast here!