Thank you note

Why should you write a thank you note?

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Do you write thank you notes?

I have spoken before about the importance of gratitude. Science has shown us that practicing gratitude enhances our best times, and provides a better opportunity to face our challenging times. But what about the act of thanking others? Does being thankful affect both the giver and the reciever?

A 2012 study found that people that receive a praise perform better than those who are not praised. 1 And, a Gallup Poll done in 2004 found that workers who are regularly recognized and thanked are increasingly:
• More productive
• More engaged at work
• More likely to stay at their workplace
• Safer and have fewer accidents at work
• More able to have satisfied and loyal customers

Which begs the question, why aren’t we thanking people more often? One way to express gratitude and praise is with a thank you note. A simple, written message of thanks can go a long way, and can take about five minutes.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” -William Arthur Ward, author. Tweet this!

Not sure how to get started? Here’s an outline you can follow for a simple, 5-sentence thank you note.

1. First, wish your recipient well
2. Identify what you are grateful for
3. Tell how his or her act of kindness has affected you
4. Provide a compliment, and thank him or her for their generosity
5. Wish your recipient well, again

This works both with an email or with a pen and paper. I tend to write most thank you notes with a pen and stationary—a note in the mail adds a special touch to your message. While any card will do, I buy my stationary in bulk so that I can have it on hand.

Even better, the gratitude you express in a note can make you happy too! The act of writing down what you are grateful for helps you remember the good times. This type of mindfulness exercise that has been shown to improve mental health.

Do you write thank you notes? Let us know by commenting below!

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  1. Sugawara SK, Tanaka S, Okazaki S, Watanabe K, Sadato N (2012) Social Rewards Enhance Offline Improvements in Motor Skill. PLoS ONE 7(11): e48174. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048174