How a simple, “Thanks!” perpetuates calm
In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it’s easy to overlook the profound impact that a simple “thank you” can have. It’s also easy not to deeply hear someone when they give their thanks, as we are already ten steps ahead in our day.
Expressing gratitude, even a little, whether through words or gestures, has the remarkable power to perpetuate calm and create a positive ripple effect that reverberates far beyond its origin.
How “Thank You” is more than a pleasantry
My kids and I are in a habit of holding doors for people. Whether it’s an elderly person with a walker, a mom with a double stroller the size of a pick-up truck, or a worker with their hands full, we often hear a genuine “thank you.”
It may seem like a platitude or an obligation. But this minimal exchange goes beyond mere politeness – it plants a seed of appreciation. As the person helped expresses gratitude and acknowledges our small act of kindness, a moment of connection is created. This interaction, however seemingly innocuous and brief, fosters a sense of shared humanity and community and promotes connection and harmony. By holding the door for someone, that person feels that society at large has their back.
And for us, the “door-holders,” in hearing those two words, we experience a subtle yet powerful boost. The acknowledgment of our simple act creates a sense of validation and warmth. This positive reinforcement is a reminder that small acts of kindness matter, fostering a desire to continue such behavior.
The “Thank You” ripple effect
Imagine the mom who didn’t have to do gymnastics to get her giant stroller and shopping bags through the swinging door of death herself. She’s buoyed by the gratitude she received, and she can carry that positive energy into the rest of the day (or at least until the next tantrum). Perhaps this mom will be on the lookout for another person who needs help, setting off a chain reaction of courtesy and appreciation.
In this way, the initial expression of thanks becomes a catalyst for a broader, collective calm.
Thank people liberally
A cashier receiving a heartfelt “thank you” from a customer, a nod and wave for letting someone into your lane on the highway, or a colleague expressing appreciation for a job well done – all contribute to a culture of positivity, connection, and appreciation.
The person saying “thank you” experiences a sense of empowerment, realizing that their acknowledgment holds the power to shape the emotional landscape of a moment. Simultaneously, the receiver feels valued and acknowledged, reinforcing the importance of their actions in the broader context of human interaction, connection, and belonging.
“Thank you” for calm
I talk more about gratitude and how it can snowball into avalanches of appreciation here. In a hectic and frantic (and scary) world, the simplicity of gratitude serves as an antidote.
Saying “thank you” provides a pause, a moment of shared reflection that, like a pebble dropped into a pond, sends out calming ripples that touch everyone in their path.
So, the next time you find yourself on either side of a kind gesture, remember the transformative power of those two words – “Thank You.”
To read more on staying calm in a chaotic world, pick up my book, Chaos to Calm: 5 Ways Busy Parents Can Break Free From Overwhelm, and sign up for my Own Your Calm newsletter!
Reach out, I’m here for you.