February 6, 2014

Keys to Happiness: Write a Letter

Thanks to texting, email, and Facebook, we communicate a lot without saying very much.  I remember getting mail from my great grandma and how much more meaningful those little notes are than the text messages we thoughtlessly send back and forth.  I keep a box of some of the most sentimental letters I've received...do any of us save text messages?  Multiple studies have shown that intentional acts of gratitude will make you happier.  Anytime we purposefully extend gratitude, it forces us to focus on the present and appreciate our life and the wonderful people in it.

I recently discovered this amazing project called Write More Love Letters where you can send some handwritten love to a stranger.  Every month, they post a request bundle of five or six people who need some encouragement.  Each of the requests is nominated by a loved one and at a set deadline, all the love letters received are bundled up and handed off the recipient.  

This is an example of one of the requests from this week:

Aubs’ Bundle

c/o Mariya G.
5901 Montrose Rd, Apt. N1204
Rockville, MD 20852
THE REQUEST: Aubs’ close friend nominated her for a bundle by writing “She spends all of her time writing love and providing love to everyone around her. She is the kindest person you will ever meet, and is always ready with supportive and uplifting words for whatever your situation might be. However, she can’t seem to find that strength for herself. She has struggled with depression all her life. She’s battled eating disorders, shyness, and loneliness. Her parents got divorced only a few years ago, and she is still re-adjusting to her new situation.  She has had incredible difficulty finding her identity, and being comfortable with herself. She is trying to make some tough decisions about her future, and has had to take an extra year to finish out her undergraduate years, which has made it difficult for her to believe in herself.
This wonderful, kind girl has been the biggest supporter of everyone she meets, friend or stranger, and would sacrifice her life to make others happy. Though she cannot yet find the same strength to realize her own worth, beauty, and joy, I hope that these lovely letter-writers will help her see.” 

This is the month of love, so buy a stamp, make a card, and write a letter to someone you love.  You'll be happy you did.