It's always good to take a moment to express one's gratitude and say "thank you". It not only constitutes good manners, but showing appreciation can boost you, those close to you and is a simple sign of respect and a smart move. Research has shown that expressing gratefulness strengthens relationships, increases happiness, decreases stress, improves health and generally makes people feel better about life. There are a variety of reasons to say thank you. Whether you’re thanking a friend for being there for you emotionally, a loved one for their help or for having introduced someone to you, everyone deserves a thank you. Here are 5 thoughtful ways to make the gesture even more special. Be unexpected: Record surprising or unexpected events when meaningful people in your life gave you a warm fuzzy feeling and thank them when they least expect it. Make it personal: Take the time to write a personalised thoughtful note rather than simply sending a store bought card with thank you written inside. It indicates a deeper level of appreciation. Be specific. Rather than saying, “thanks for being a great friend,” why not thank them and summarise positive/friendly acts this person has done for you over the years or for specific advice they gave you a while ago. A focused “thank you” explaining why you appreciate them will be much more meaningful and authentic. Be creative: Give them a gift that keeps on giving. If they love music, introduce them to a new artist you think they’d love. Send them a poem/quote from their favourite poet or author, say it with art, thank them in a different language or three or send them a beautiful dried arrangement of their favourite flowers. There are so many ways to be creative, and you’ll probably enjoy the process as much as they’ll enjoy the end result. Repay their kindness by paying it forward: the best gifts come from the heart, so why not spread your friend’s love to others. If your friend has a special cause they care about, an animal shelter or charity for instance why not make a donation in their name, or volunteer some of your time to the cause? The bottom line is make it personal, focus on people you're grateful for, not things and say thanks in a memorable way. Authentic flattery goes a long way, especially when that person may not hear it all the time. "Thank you", two simple yet powerful words in life that go far.