Appreciate Someone? Write Them an Old-School Letter

Who do you really, really, really appreciate? Who has had an impact on your life? Who rocked your world? Who made your day or month or year?

So often, we’ll think about the people we appreciate—our spouse, parents, colleague, the cable guy or whoever—but we never get around to telling them how we feel.

Mostly, it’s because we’re too busy. We assume we’ll have time to tell them later on. Sometimes, we keep our emotions to ourselves because it feels awkward or because we left it too long and now we don’t know what to say.

Write a Letter Appreciation Week (1-7 March) is a great opportunity to catch up on all that overdue appreciation. Think of the holiday as your “get out of awkward jail free” card. It’s also the perfect excuse to send that “I appreciate you!” card without feeling bad that it’s a month late.

The World Needs More Appreciation

We humans spend a lot of time complaining. And let’s face it, most of the time we’re complaining about first world problems. I’m not saying you should just suck it up. If there’s a problem, constructive feedback is always helpful.

But don’t only speak up when something goes wrong. Take the time to give kudos for a job well done, too. The world needs more love letters for sure, but it also needs more thank you letters. Surprising someone with a handwritten note will not only make their day, it will make yours, as well.

Why It’s Important to Express Appreciation

Write a Letter Appreciation Week

Cultivating gratitude has profound benefits. It boosts your brain power, reduces stress and helps you sleep better. It also makes you happier and strengthens your relationships. Plus, it feels really good.

When New York Times bestselling author A.J. Jacobs set out to thank every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee, he had no idea how the resulting journey would transform his life. Follow in his footsteps, and go on a “gratitude journey” of your own!

What’s so Great About Pen and Paper?

Have you ever eaten something and immediately said, “Wow, this was made with love!”?

The reason we can taste when food is prepared from the heart is because our feelings and intentions aren’t purely internal. They filter out into the world, touching what we touch. The same is true for letters.

Write a Letter Appreciation Week

You can’t taste an Instagram post of a waffle drizzled in maple syrup. It doesn’t matter how stylish the shot is. Neither will you get the full gist of what someone was feeling from a text message or email.

In today’s high-tech digital world, letter writing is a lost art. In a business context that makes sense. You can’t snail mail feedback to your client and expect them to keep doing business with you.

But when you’re expressing appreciation, low-fi is the way to go. Writing by hand encourages you to slow down your thought process and consider what you want to say. You spend time choosing the words that best describe how you’re feeling.

All of this goes into the letter you’re writing. Your love, your feelings of gratitude, it all gets poured onto the paper and into the words you write. The recipient will feel that, even if they can’t articulate what it is.

If you write like a two-year-old (or a doctor), you can always spend some time improving your handwriting. There are lots of tutorials online to walk you through the basics.

Finally, take a look at these fabulous thank you notes from famous people. They’ll definitely get your creative juices flowing. Happy writing.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

137 comments

Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill15 hours ago

thanks

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Past Member
Past Member 1 days ago

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Toni W
Toni W3 days ago

TYFS

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Toni W
Toni W3 days ago

TYFS

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Dr. Jan H
Dr. Jan Hill5 days ago

thanks

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Jacob S
Jacob S7 days ago

tyfs

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill7 days ago

thanks

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Tania N
Tania N7 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N7 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Peter B
Kevin B13 days ago

tyfs

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