Have you heard about the man who wrote a thank you note to someone every day for a whole year? John Kralik’s life was in a downward spiral when he resolved to focus on expressing gratitude to people—friends, colleagues, clients, even the server at his favorite restaurant.

Kralik’s life did not turn around immediately. But over time he began to notice that his outlook had changed. He was more perceptive. His relationships were improving and day-to-day stresses did not seem so overwhelming.

In hopes of inspiring others to reap the benefits of thankfulness in their own lives, Kralik (who became a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court) wrote a book about his experience titled 365 Thank You Notes: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life.

Benefits of expressing gratitude

The people I personally know who express gratitude frequently tend to be  productive, healthy and happy. They get along well with others and have a positive attitude about life. The following internet quotes from the famous writer “anonymous” may help to explain why.

  • Every time we remember to say “thank you” we experience nothing less than heaven on earth.
  • A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.
  • None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.
  • I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

I recently visited the site welovegratitude.com hosted by Belle Pirri. Her goal is to change the world one “gratitude list” at a time by allowing people to post (at no cost)10 things per day for which they are thankful. While I’m not saying I endorse everything there, I do believe that the whole concept of focusing on what is good in life, rather than what’s wrong, is very healthy.

Making a list of things for which one is thankful is a habit for many people. Yet most of the things on people’s lists at We Love Gratitude are not huge, life-altering events. They are the “little” things that often go unnoticed…like the smell of rain, kitty love, goose bumps, zinnias and uninterrupted sleep.  The natural beauty of the world around us, the small comforts of home life, the thoughtfulness of family and friends—these are the things that make life sweet, that refuel our energies, soothe us, give us hope.

Living each day with an attitude of gratitude is a characteristic I want to strengthen in my life. And while writing my gratitude list and posting online could help me organize my thoughts, I also want to remember to express my gratitude to people who will benefit from my words, whether verbal or written.

How about you? Is there someone you should thank today?