Gratitude Letter (one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself or others)

This is a Positive Psychology Intervention credited to Martin Seligman and Chris Peterson.

Their premise is that American society seems to lack gratitude rituals. The instructions are simple: think of someone who has made a personal impact on your life, who have been extremely kind for which you have never really expressed formal gratitude.

The point to write a letter to express in specific detail as to why you are grateful to this person. You can either deliver the letter in person or email. The results dictate that not only is the recipient grateful, but the composer is, in turn, grateful as well. So, I set about to do just that. I wrote to a person that showed me true friendship, and acceptance despite meeting briefly. The result, a lifelong friendship that I believe will last the test of time.I always tell my friend I am grateful for our friendship, but I don’t think he readily accepts that information. He does not intentionally disregard my words, but it is also an aspect of cultural difference. My friend was raised by Chinese 1st-year immigrant parents, who were extremely hard on him, and critical of his achievements. Thus, George is incredibly self-critical. Despite, the fact that he graduated from an academically established difficult institution as a STEM major. A reality that I cannot personally fathom, in fact, I would equate being a STEM major, to the equivalent of a living hell. However, he is intelligent, talented, and gifted. Unfortunately, he has a difficult time perceiving those positive aspects of himself.

I always tell my friend I am grateful for our friendship, but I don’t think he readily accepts that information.

Thus, I think my articulation of the amount of my gratitude and admiration to him as a friend will be more readily received. I planned to deliver it to him and let him keep it so he can be continuously be reminded of the outstanding person that he is. Intentionally taking the time to actively sit, and articulate all the ways, my friend significantly helped me as a friend, and all the reasons I am grateful to have him as a friend, made me feel increasingly appreciative of our relationship. Writing the letter of gratitude, created a warm feeling. The sensation seemed to flow through my body, through my hands, and into the very words I was writing. The experience makes me curious as to why I had not done this before. Why is expressed gratitude not a regular practice in our society? An immeasurable amount of people deserves a letter of gratitude, regardless of whether they asked for one or not. Expressing gratitude should be a regular proactive portion in the lives of all people if it is not already. The Gratitude Letter exercise simply helps cultivates those experiences, and further, broaden these conceptualizations about one’s interpersonal relationships. The results this exercise could have on our society if applied regularly are immeasurable.

People may not express gratitude regularly because acts of kindness between people are generally expected. Just as those in life are generally happy. Many people are unaware that such pleasant experiences of interpersonal relationships, deserve acknowledgment because they are perceived as natural aspects of interpersonal relationships, so they go unnoticed.

I strongly suggest you try this exercise. It could be a friend, teacher, lover, etc.

I would include the letter in its entirety. However, I am unsure anyone of you would wish to read the full length of the letter. So, I will include my friend’s reaction.

“Wow I don’t know what to say, Gaby, thank you!!!”

“I am really glad for this, really. Also, thanks for the letter. On my first opportunity, I am going to frame this.”

His words brought tears to my eyes. Not because I was reveling in his words of thanks, but because it had brought him joy.

So once again I encourage you to try this exercise of gratitude. If the results are less than satisfactory, please let me know. If the results exceed your expectations, please let me know as well!


Wabi-Sabi wit Gaby


First Blog Post: 3 Blessings

Positive Pospsycholog Intervention: “3 blessings”

The idea is, every day before you go to bed, write down three things you were grateful for that day. They could be anything like getting a new car or eating pizza, but you also have to think of why that occurrence was particularly pleasant to you.

I did this as an assignment for my Positive psychology class, although it was something I had already heard of. Results usually show that doing this for even one week can have positive effects, lasting up to 6 months.

By counting your blessings each day, big, or small, you realize you are blessed. Everyone will differ in what they are grateful for, but to be honest most of the time for me it was a good nights sleep. As a student, I don’t really get much of it.

Then something terrible happened my first pet died. The love of my life, he was everything to me. He died about 2 weeks into this assignment. As heartbroken as I was, and still am over losing him., I truly believe that counting my blessings each day REALLY did work.

Here is a small excerpt from my three blessings experience:

  1. I am grateful for my new living situation and new roommates 
  2. I am grateful for the privilege to ride my bike again on the beautiful campus of UCSB 
  3. I am grateful I got a good nights sleep last night     


  1. I am grateful to be alive 
  2. I am grateful for my stepmother who has raised me as her own child 
  3. I am grateful for my boyfriend whom I love, and who has stood by me through the ups and the downs 


  1. Happy to have finished up school work getting ahead and remaining focused 
  2. Happy that my boyfriend wants to bring me with him to his music sessions and along for the ride 
  3. Thankful for every time Adam reminds me I am beautiful 


  1. Thankful to have someone I can trust to be true to me 
  2. Fortunate to see an old friend Brandon who brings me many laughs 
  3. Glad I could share a moment of gratitude and thought with Juliana while reflecting on positive psychology and the good life frame 


  1. To have a true friend in George who I share many laughs with 
  2. To have a long lasting relationship with Erin which started in childhood who knows me intimately  
  3. Happy I am now able to eat with awareness and improve my diet to improve my health 


  1. I have a kind and helpful roommate 
  2. Grateful that my ride home was spent talking to loved ones who made time fly 
  3. Grateful to have a good nights sleep


  1. Thankful that my dog led a long happy life and died peacefully 
  2. Grateful my teachers understand me missing class 
  3. Happy I could return home to mourn the passing of my first dog max 


  1. Grateful that my dog buttercup is alive and well 
  2. Happy to have dinner with a friend who new max his entire life 
  3. Thankful my boyfriend came to spend time with me in the morning of max 


  1. Happy to see my old best friend Shima who I miss and love 
  2. Glad to spend time with my boyfriend conversing and studying together pleasantly 
  3. Grateful to have so many friends who are concerned for me and want to show me love and support for the passing of my dog Glad that I took my exam and feel I did pretty well despite my lack of sleep 
  1. Realized that sleep is the most important factor to my health and I am gonna do everything I can to fix this and lead a healthier lifestyle 


  1. Happy to wake up next to the love of my life and how he is always there to lend me comforting words 
  2. Spent most of the day with my new puppy Wesley whom I love more and more each day! 
  3. Grateful I get to be home in a healthy environment studying with my boyfriend and eating right! 
  1. Got a great night sleep woke up feeling refreshed! 
  2. Had a smooth fast ride to school 
  3. Made it to my test on time and I think I did really well! Because I worked hard! 


  1. Has a nice lunch with my best friend I enjoy quality time 
  2. The weather was slightly cooler which was a nice change of pace 
  3. Had a nice intellectual talk with my professor 


  1. Spent the night at my best friend’s which was a nice change of pace
  2. Got a good nights sleep despite lighter 
  3. Enjoyed a nice breakfast which was pleasant 


  1. Had a great class in mindfulness which allowed us to practice meditation 
  2. Skated to class in beautiful weather, my ability is improving which Made me happy 
  3. Had an amazing meeting with Jeff Gaddass which resulted in a mentor relationship and an amazing job offer working in the field in residence homes, reminding me why I chose this field 


  1. Went out to a late dinner with my old friend Alfred. This was especially nice bec912
  1. Ate a nice breakfast before class which I don’t often get a chance to do.

2  went to the store and was more pleased than I thought I would be with the Halloween decorations already being displayed 3 took part in some self-care and bought my self some goodies which I rarely do 🙂 

But Don’t take my word for it…try it your self!