Tool for Happiness: Make Someone's Day

writing-by-candlelight--photo by skippyjon via flickr

writing-by-candlelight--photo by skippyjon via flickr

Isn’t it interesting that even people who don’t like to send letters, admit that they love receiving them?

Letting someone know that they have made a difference in your life makes their day and adds to your happiness.

No matter how much sending email and text messages have become the common mode of communication, nothing delivers the feeling and emotional impact like a handwritten personal letter or card.

When my children were young they grumbled when I insisted that they send handwritten thank you notes for every Christmas and birthday gift they received. From the way they moaned and whined, you’d think they’d grow up hating to send thank you notes.

On the contrary, as adults they now even send thank you’s to each member of the interview committee following job interviews.

Send someone a handwritten letter today. If you don’t have stationery, a plain sheet of paper or page from a spiral notebook will do. A blank card is a great choice since it gives you structure but also freedom.

The pen you choose won’t matter to the recipient, but it will matter to you. So, choose a pen that feels good in your hand. Give several pens a test drive, then write the letter with the one that flows smoothly across the page and rests comfortably in your hand.

In addition to handwritten letters, I also like to send “real” greeting cards for year-round holidays when people least expect them. Last year, after receiving one of my cards, one friend commented that she didn’t even know they made Happy Thanksgiving cards.

You can buy a set of 6 or 8 of these holiday cards for almost every holiday of the year for around $5. It only takes a few minutes to address them and most mailmen will pick up outgoing mail when they deliver your incoming mail.

I also enjoy sending postcards when I travel. To make this task easy I print off address labels of friends and relatives before I leave town.

On the first day of my trip I look for affordable sets of postcards. Then when I have a long ride or down time between touring historic sites, I can jot a brief greeting on each card. If I don’t find a post office handy I ask the hotel guest services associate to get the stamps and mail them for me.

Letting others know that they matter in your life is a practice that happy people share. The great thing about sending personal handwritten letters or cards is not only do you make someone’s day, but you make yours as well.