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A Letter Of Gratitude: How To Write One With Examples

Want to send someone you love a letter of appreciation? We can help you get started with our tips for writing an appreciation letter and an example!

Published: 5/24/21

A Letter Of Gratitude: How To Write One With Examples

Every morning we wake up on the right side of the bed. Happy, peppy, and ready to take on the day.

Well, maybe in our utopian dreams.

It’s what many of us wish for, but the reality is that life is hard, and our moods vary. There’s good news, though. By cultivating a routine around gratitude, you can actually become happier. (No, really. It’s science!) One way to practice is by writing a letter of gratitude. Today we want to show you how to do just that with examples.

But First, What Is Gratitude?

Gratitude—put simply—is the act of being thankful and showing kindness. It’s a verb (even though every online dictionary will say otherwise). 

As humans, we are taught from a young age to be polite. To say ‘thank you’ when someone does something for us, and ‘sorry’ when we do something wrong or incorrect to someone else. Thank yous and sorrys can become reactionary—we begin to say these words without even thinking about the true meaning. But, gratitude is different. It is the act of being thankful and showing kindness. It takes action and intention.

Writing A Letter Of Gratitude

In an experiment by Soul Pancake, they dive into the impact of writing a letter of gratitude on our psyche. In it, they give each subject a happiness quiz upon entering the experiment and leaving. After the quiz, they ask them to write a letter to express gratitude to someone who has impacted their life. The subjects do so, and then, taken a step further, are asked to actually call the person they wrote to and read the letter to them. 

What they found was pretty incredible: for the people who reached the person they wrote about, their happiness scores jumped between 4 and a whopping 19 percent!

While that was a small study, there is more scientific evidence to suggest that showing gratitude to others not only makes the person that you are expressing it to feel happier, but also yourself. And, in our opinion, spreading kindness is the best thing we can do for one another.

How To Write A Gratitude Letter With Examples

For some of us, the person who has impacted our lives the most may no longer be with us. For others, it may be someone we come in contact with every day. The good news is, you can write to anyone you wish. Someone you wish you would have shown gratitude to while they were here or even someone that you still have the chance to express your thankfulness for. 

Step 1

Begin by taking a moment to pause and reflect on who you’re writing to. Who are they? What do/did they do and what impact does/did it have on you? Just spend a minute or two on this part, then put your pen to paper or your fingers to keys.

Step 2

Write. Start with a greeting and then dive in. Tell them that you are thinking of them and all of the beautiful ways they impacted your life. It is okay to make mistakes. Get all of your feelings out without judging yourself. Write a few paragraphs until you feel that you’ve been able to portray your emotions accurately. Here are a few examples:

Example 1:

Dear Grandpa,

As I reflect on how my life has unfolded and grown, I cannot think of a more influential person in my life than y-o-u. Your humor, wisdom, and willingness to show love to everyone around you has shaped the way I look at the world and treat others. Not to mention your uncanny ability to tell stories—wow, I am lucky to have you in my life. 

I remember being a little kid and people stopping by your home one after the other to just talk to you and listen to your funny quips. While you may not have realized it, your way of inviting and including others into your life with such ease has propelled me to ensure that my home is an open door and a place for people to come for a warm meal and a welcoming smile. That natural ability to relate and listen to everyone is something that I strive for. It is the thing I love about you most.

Thank you, Grandpa, for everything. For the love you have shown to me, the family, and the people you talk to every day.

Love, 

Me!

Example 2: 

Hey, Stacey.

You know that I love you, right? Well, I do! You have been the best friend, confidant, and shoulder to cry on for the past ten years. Basically, how could I live without you?

If I think about the impact you’ve had on my life, it makes me emotional. You are the most brutally honest (in a good way) friend I have. I always know when I need advice, to ask you. There are no holds barred when it comes to your feedback. I don’t know where I would be without that.

Without belly laughs, tearful moments, car singing sessions that are so off-key but so perfectly harmonized, day trips, and all-day voice chats are what I look forward to and think of when I think of our wonderful friendship. You are such a gift to this world. Thank you for being here.

Love, 

Me!

The point of this letter is to be personal. Talk in detail about how and why this person has positively impacted your life. It doesn’t have to be long, but it should be sincere and kind. Most importantly, it should be yours. Use the examples above as inspo, but write yours from your heart.

Step 3

If you are lucky enough to have this person in your life still, this is where the extra action comes in. Either call or visit this person with your letter in hand and read it to them. You remember the Soul Pancake study we talked about earlier? This is where your happiness score will shoot to the moon. Read this to the person you love and then see how they react. Doing so will open the door to a beautiful conversation with the person that you love so dearly. 

When the conversation is through, either send or hand the letter to them to keep. This act of kindness and sincerity will be remembered for years to come and will have a lasting impact on your relationship.

Thank you for choosing kindness in all that you do, Chuze Family. We hope that this article encourages you to spread the love this week. If you want to experience the Chuze Difference, check out any of our locations or our digital fitness platform, iChuze Fitness, where we can share laughs and gratitude together. 

We look forward to knowing you.