Holiday cards and catch-up notes are pleasantly received but notes of appreciation raise the bar. Recently I received one from a friend whom I haven’t seen in years. I was very pleasantly surprised. She and I haven’t communicated much in a while. Her card was moving as she shared a fond memory, and within the words of appreciation an exclamation was encased, “Isn’t it amazing how we can pick up as if we’d never left off.”
Notes of appreciation to a friend, family member, colleague, or someone you admire, are intended to recognize the qualities of excellence within that person, the value of which you wish to acknowledge. There is always an element of gratitude.
Research shows that most people who feel gratitude on a regular basis are happy people. Simply by recognizing the things in their lives that they appreciate and expressing thanks, whether in the form of verbal thanks, a thank-you note, a meditation or prayer, gratitude led to a feeling of happiness.
When you feel grateful for something someone has done for you and express your thankfulness to them, it leads to happiness for both of you. Your expression of appreciation enhances the positive aspects of your relationship and encourages you both to look for more things to appreciate and be grateful for.
A friend of mine keeps a journal that includes an “I noticed this” section where, as an observer, she records the little and the big things that others do which she finds fascinating, kind, interesting, helpful, or admirable. She journals her thoughts regarding what she is witnessing.
Then, she writes an unanticipated note, letting the person know her appreciations. I’m sure many who have been acknowledged by her have saved those notes.
Tips from my etiquette-ful friend who, through journaling, has become the best appreciation acknowledger I know:
Everyone could use an affirmation! Specifics and details will build your notes of appreciation. When you send it, you can be sure that it will make someone’s day—and you know it should, even if it doesn’t, as your brain gets the feel-good chemicals of sending.