Now the core message of this post is one perhaps a little trivial. However, we at Young Happy Minds believe it’s one overlooked by many.
You may know this already but we're huge advocates of actively expressing gratitude! We’re constantly seeking to help it become a habitual behaviour, one that leaves you and many others much happier.
Sometimes we’re not perfect (yes that’s right, the happy hackers can forget to hack themselves) and like everyone else we get caught up in our hectic schedules and lifestyles.
But time and time again we find that two words easily ground us, allow us to slow down and realise the good we’re doing- “THANK YOU”.
Alongside working with YHM, I personally tutor and coach a number of students on an individual basis. This is incredibly rewarding work because you get to see the true impact of your work in seeing students’ confidence levels, understanding of content, and appetite for learning grow week-on-week.
Sadly, I had to say goodbye to a number of students over the past couple of weeks given the exams I was helping them with have now come and gone.
Some of these students I had worked with for 10 months, starting out with them right at the beginning of the academic year- so it was a big deal and felt strange knowing I wouldn’t get to see them every week anymore.
What also felt strange was a feeling of questioning what impact I had had on them. Weirdly in working with these students I hadn’t actually taken a moment to really think about what the long term effects of me working with them would be. I could perhaps be a bit guilty of constantly giving them a load of knowledge, advice, tips etc and not actually being fully aware of what I was really giving them.
However, come the final session with each student it had become apparent. Most of them in person at the end of their session expressed very heartfelt thanks for all I had done for them. Some found it easier than others (saying thanks as a teenager is both weird and hard!) but all were very sincere.
Many of them also gave me ‘thank you’ cards and very thoughtful gifts, which I wasn’t expecting whatsoever. I was taken aback to receive bottles of wine, champagne, theatre tickets, and other vouchers. And it’s not those actual items that made me feel incredibly grateful it was the symbolic nature of the gesture- they were genuine gifts of appreciation.
Some of the messages in the cards were extremely gratifying to read, including:
“Your support and encouragement has helped me to improve dramatically and I wouldn’t have haven able to do it without you! I’m so grateful for all that you’ve done for me, and I can’t thank you enough!!”
“I honestly don’t think I would’ve made anywhere near the same level of progress without your help… Our discussions about psychology brought the dry material to life and made studying interesting for me again. THANK YOU!”
And that’s really the power of saying thank you. If it’s sincere then it can have a huge impact on both the ‘thanker’ and ‘thankee’. It not only acknowledges someone’s efforts, it also acknowledges the person himself/herself.
So as the academic year comes to a close we at Young Happy Minds encourage all students to thank their teachers and also for teachers to thank their students too.
A thank you said with sincerity does two things primarily. Firstly, it strengthens relationships. Secondly, it allows both parties to see meaning in their work/efforts/actions.
Both of these are essential for our well-being and clearly show that with just a little bit of conscious effort, we can choose to build our happiness and that of others close to us.