You may not realize it, but you probably express your gratitude for others more often than not. It can be an obvious pleasantry, like saying "thank you" to the barista when he or she hands you your coffee every morning; or, a more subtle display of appreciation, like a wink when your significant other complements your fresh hair cut.
Whatever your preferred method of giving thanks is, keep it up, because doing so has been linked to improved metal health, building stronger personal relationships and reducing aggression.
In addition to sending lovely thank-you cards, here are six creative ways to show your appreciation:
1. Record a song
Everyone appreciates a good tune – especially if it's about them – so whether you're musically talented or not, record a song. Pull out that recorder you played in elementary school, tinker around a bit and create some form of melody. Next, pull out your personalized stationery and jot down some loving words about the person you wish to thank. Put it together and viola! You're ready to hop on stage and star in the next Broadway musical.
2. Give a hand-sewn gift
Knit your way into someone's heart by presenting them a handcrafted gift like a scarf and gloves set, or even a gorgeous afghan. If you don't know how to knit, this is the perfect learning opportunity for you. Your loved one will feel even more special knowing the first scarf you created was given to them!
3. Make and deliver a sweet treat platter
There are very few people in this world who don't like sweets, so why not say thank you and bake some delicious treats? Create a sample platter of assorted cookies, brownies and tarts. Decorate them with sprinkles and frosting, and place them in a tin container. Surprise your loved one by ringing the door bell and handing them your sweet treat platter. Who knows what they'll like more – the scrumptious cookies or unexpectedly seeing your face.
4. Pay it forward
Sometimes, the best gifts can't be seen or touched, but are still just as meaningful. If one of your friends supports a special cause that is near and dear to their heart, consider expressing gratitude by making a donation in their honor. Or, next time you know he or she is volunteering, ask to tag along! To some people, this gesture is more meaningful than receiving a box full of their favorite candy bars.
5. Share your skills
While this may seem like a silly way to say thank you, it's always nice to share a skill with people who may be less talented. For instance, if you know how to change a flat tire or perform an oil change, give your friend a quick lesson on it! Or if you're fluent in another language, volunteer your time and offer to teach your friend your native tongue or second language.
6. Cook a meal
If you typically thank people by taking them out to dinner, opt for cooking a meal in the comfort of your own home. After all, what's a better way to say thank you to someone than a home-cooked meal? Host a dinner party and invite a handful of people in your life who have always been there for you. Since you know these people so well, you already know what their favorite foods are, so it's only natural to make them and serve their favorite dishes.