A simple, written expression of gratitude can improve the well-being of both a writer and the person receiving their letter. In a study published in Psychological Science, researchers found that writers often underestimated how the recipients would react to their letters. However, most recipients were pleasantly surprised to receive the letters—and the senders reported that writing a gratitude letter was a positive experience. Read more.
Below are some tips to help you and your family spread the joy of gratitude through a letter.
Step #1: Identify the person you would like to write a letter to.
- Think of someone you are grateful for
- A family member
- Your best friend
- Your mentor
- A hero
Step #2: Choose the paper and materials.
- Keep it simple with a pen and paper.
- Or get creative with magazines, colored pencils or pens, etc.
Step #3: Write your letter. Consider adding the following:
- Write as though you are addressing this person directly by adding, “Dear ______.”
- Describe in specific terms what this person did.
- Why are you grateful to this person?
- How has this person’s behavior affected your life?
- Describe what you are doing in your life now and how you remember their efforts.
Step #4: Optional: Decorate your letter.
Step #5: Send your letter by mail. If mailing the letter is not an option, no problem! Consider some of the following options:
- Read the letter to them through video (Facetime or WhatsApp)
- Call the recipient and read the letter aloud to them.
- Take a photo of the letter and send it to them through a text message or WhatsApp.
- Email the letter!
- If the person lives with you, hand it to them or place it somewhere private like their bed.
- Or save it for when you see them.