12 Reasons To Enjoy Writing With Gratitude

Mahalo Sawhorse by Rosa Say on Flickr

Mahalo Sawhorse by Rosa Say on Flickr

Mahalo: Mahalo means “thank you” and as a value Mahalo is appreciation and gratitude as a way of living. (Managing With Aloha Coaching)

Gratitude adds an additional quality or dimension to your writing.

Setting gratitude as the purpose for my writing changes the way that I write, the way that I work, and the way that I feel.

Here are 12 reasons why:

1. It shifts your state.

The best way to write gratitude is to remember what it is you’re thankful for, to focus on it, smile at the remembered details before you start to write… and hey presto you’ve re-accessed the state. Ready to write - and to enjoy the feeling as you go.

2. Gratitude helps you pay attention.

It’s a mindset that gets you to notice things, to figure out the detail of what was so special, to identify the spectacular in the everyday, and the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Working this into your writing helps to make your words vivid and real.

3. Thankfulness boosts serotonin.

The more you write it the more you’ll enhance your sense of well-being (and charge up your brain power too).

4. Gratitude shapes your language and your world.

Regular practice in writing with gratitude gets you writing about what’s good, but also what’s real. It’s a powerful form of affirmation. The more you write this kind of stuff the more it becomes what’s ‘normal’ to you; it influences your language and your beliefs.

It starts to shape and create your world.

5. It helps you learn and reflect.

Appreciation requires you to work out what it is that you appreciate and why: what it means to you, and how that reflects your values.

And sometimes writing it down helps us to work it out: to name it, to see it - literally - in black and white.

6. Gratitude has value for others.

The words “thank you” (or “mahalo”) when meant, intended, heart felt… when written with purpose… well they make a difference. Sometimes, often times, that simplest of phrases is enough. Our words of thanks are enough.

You don’t need to add bows and whistles. Don’t discount the simple power of a “thank you” if that’s what your instinct tells you to say.

7. Gratitude shifts the tone of your voice, and written word.

As Rosa teaches us (and models): thankfulness gives your voice “both humility and fullness”.

When so many words are fast written and fast read this can help to establish rapport, to create a positive, lasting sense of connection.

8. Your words do extra work.

This is one of the best examples I know of writing with purpose. Set a positive intention to express thanks and focus on that.

Get into the state of appreciation and thankfulness, then trust your unconscious mind to find the right words to fufill that purpose. The words you come up with will have extra power to move and connect with your readers.

9. Writing with thankfulness expands your sense of self.

Writing what you are grateful for affirms who you are, what you’re about, who you’re becoming. You can’t help but acknowledge your own self when you appreciate the contribution of others.

10. Gratitude brings your senses to life.

A heightened sense of thankfulness and appreciation makes you notice the taste, feel, smell, colour of an experience.

Working that sensory experience into your words makes your writing more vivid, and forges a strong sense of connection with your reader.

11. It enhances your peripheral vision.

You filter out so much when you’re busy, rushing, focused on the things you want or expect to be there. When you alter your perspective to find and recall what you’re grateful for you’ll start to notice the unexpected. (This is also a great way to banish boredom!)

12. Gratitude grounds you.

It grounds you in the specificity of your experience, of the current moment. And grounded writing is honest, authentic, full of power.

Gratitude is not meaningless platitudes. It doesn’t work - for you, for other people, for your writing - if it doesn’t capture the detail: the specificity of the experience.

The extraordinary ordinariness of people, places, life all about you.

Writing that sense of gratitude helps you to notice it, capture it, name it, share it. Gratitude changes the way you write.

Writing with gratitude changes you.

Isn’t that something to be grateful for?


This post was inspired by Managing With Aloha Coach Rosa Say, who I first met online 12 months ago. We share a love of numbers so I felt the need to find 12 ways to say thanks!

Rosa epitomises graceful, quiet, thoughtful and meaningful gratitude. You’ll hear her saying, writing, “mahalo” often.

And you’ll watch her living her values: appreciation and gratitude as a way of living. Thank you Rosa for everything you have taught me and shared with me over the last 12 months.

For more on gratitude try:

Rosa Say on The 3-Way Promise Of Mahalo: Appreciation, Gratitude, Thankfulness

Chris Garrett on The Productivity Secret of Positivity and Gratitude

Robyn McMaster on The Power Of Thanks

Photo Credit: Mahalo Sawhorse by Rosa Say on Flickr