How showing gratitude by throwing “snowballs” of thanks can create an avalanche of peace and positivity in your life
I know I talk a lot about gratitude, and for that, I AM NOT SORRY. So much success and calm come from thinking about, feeling, and sharing gratitude.
We tend to express gratitude on designated days for our parents, teachers, grandparents, bosses, and employees. Which is great but doesn’t truly harness the power of gratitude for you or the recipient!
Just like New Year’s Day isn’t the only day to set new goals and intentions, neither do we have to wait for Thanksgiving or a special day to recognize what someone has done to contribute to our or our loved ones’ wellbeing.
How showing gratitude creates calm
Literally the number one thing you can do to feel better in any stressful moment or day is by pausing and thinking of just one person or thing you are grateful for.
Showing gratitude to someone doesn’t have to take a long time. It doesn’t have to mean elaborate gifts and surprises (unless that’s your jam!). It can be a simple text, a post-it note left where someone can find it, or a virtual cup of coffee (I like the app “Joe” for supporting local coffee shops, btw!) Next time you’re baking you could make an extra loaf or dozen for your person. Take something you’re doing anyway, and make it work for more than one purpose!
The “Gratitude Snowball Effect”
I started a practice with one of my clients called, “Gratitude Snowball.” On our team Slack channel I threw out a random gratitude snowball, and it turned into a gratitude avalanche! Everyone was throwing gratitude snowballs all over the place and it started a trend. Gratitude snowballs were thrown not just for the big things, but also for the small things. Even if it is our “job” and what we get paid to do, there are humans who go over and beyond. And I freaking love those people.
Who (else) are you grateful for?
Besides the obvious (partners, kids, parents, friends), sometimes we miss people behind-the-scenes who have huge Influences in our lives.
Parents of our best friends. Recently, one of my best friends really had my back. And of course I thanked her, but do you know who I was also compelled to send a note of gratitude to? Her mom. I knew she had gotten much of her compassion from her mother, and I wrote her mom a note thanking her for raising such an extraordinary daughter. It took me no longer than 5 minutes, and not only did it make her mom’s day, my friend’s day, but also mine! This is the ripple effect that builds positive momentum!
The parents who volunteer at our kids’ schools. Some of us have time and desire to volunteer, and others don’t, and that’s okay! When I’m not volunteering, I acknowledge the time other parents are putting in to make my kids’ education better. If you have their number, shoot them a text that you loved the exercise they did with your kid that day. Wrangling glitter and kindergartners for free all day is flipping heroic!
Others who deserve gratitude snowballs:
- Bus drivers. Imagine what they have to manage on the daily!
- Delivery workers. Dude, we trust them to bring us our stuff in 1 piece, and on time!
- School janitors. Would you want to send your kid to school without them? Hell no.
- Non-primary colleagues. Are there people you work with, maybe even indirectly, that without them work would be chaotic or not as fulfilling? Maybe a colleague that asks about your day or offers you their charging cord every time you forget.
- Instacart buyers. Can you believe there are humans who are willing to do the grocery shopping that I just can’t bring myself to prioritize? Thank goodness they exist! And thank you to the founders of this service!
- Customer Service workers.These saints are just trying to do their jobs and often get yelled at all day long for something they didn’t do.
The bottom line
If you go about your day looking for people to thank, you are going to see so many heroes in your world – and every time you appreciate them, you are appreciating your own life. And this fosters calm.
Let’s be like Buddy the Elf and start throwing gratitude snowballs everywhere! See what kind of day you have with that as the focus, and then start practicing it regularly in your life.
You’ll be amazed by the reciprocal love and generosity this creates, making the world a more peaceful and calm place to exist.
For more tips on how to own your calm, sign up for the Chaos to Calm newsletter!
Reach out, I’m here for you.