Written by DiveThru Team
Reviewed by Natalie Asayag MSW, LCSW
Feeling Thoughtful: A Guide To Your Emotions
Published Dec 23rd, 2020 & updated on Dec 7th, 2021
When we’re feeling thoughtful, we tend to go out of our own way to do selfless acts for others — so thoughtful can be a really great feeling not only for ourselves, but the people around us. This could include small acts of kindness, like paying for a stranger’s order at the drive thru or leaving a thoughtful sticky note on our roommate’s mirror wishing them good luck on their exam. Maybe for you, it involves volunteering in a seniors’ home and visiting with the residents who are often pretty lonely, or helping out at an animal shelter. No matter how big or small the gesture, your thoughtful acts will mean a lot to whoever is on the receiving end!
There are times when we might not even know where to start when we’re feeling thoughtful! Honestly, not having a lot of time or money can be discouraging if you want to make a meaningful contribution to another person’s day or help them out. But we’re here to tell you that it’s okay! You don’t have to have endless hours in a day or be really well-off to act thoughtfully. Let’s talk about feeling thoughtful and how it makes everyone (you included!) feel 100% better.
A Deeper Look At Feeling Thoughtful
Sooo, what does it really mean to feel thoughtful? Well, Merriam-Webster defines thoughtful as: “adj. given to or made with heedful anticipation of the needs and happiness of others.” Okay cool, let’s give a ‘lil more context!
Being thoughtful is more than just being a nice person. Most of us can be friendly or pleasant to the people around us without putting in a lot of effort. When someone smiles as they walk past us, we tend to automatically smile back without thinking. We can use our good manners to thank someone holding a door for us, or to thank a server that is bringing our meal at a restaurant. These are the kind of gestures that are ingrained in us from when we’re little humans learning how to be polite. But thoughtfulness takes common courtesy to the next level! It requires a little more…well, thought!
Feeling thoughtful means we pay attention to someone else’s needs. We have taken notice of where they are struggling or could use some extra help. Maybe we anticipated what would make their day easier, or even just bring a smile to their face. We have taken the time to attend to their needs in a personal, respectful and meaningful way.
How Do We Show This Feeling?
This could look like a lot of different things, depending on the person and situation! Maybe your friend has been putting off going to the mechanic because they’ve been really strapped for time, so you step in and offer to change their oil. Or your sibling could really use some quality time with their partner, and you offer to babysit their kids for the day. It could be that you’ve noticed your coworker has been really stressed, so you leave their favourite Starbucks drink on their desk first thing in the morning to make their day a bit better.
It feels really good to pay it forward, no matter how big or small. Here are a few more ways (that are simple but mean a lot!) to act thoughtfully:
- Give compliments
- Practice active listening
- Pay attention to others’ needs
- Volunteer in your community
- Help out with errands/chores
- Call or text someone to check in
- Gift something meaningful
How Feeling Thoughtful Shows Up Mentally
We don’t have enough fingers and toes to count all the benefits that feeling thoughtful has for your mental health. By doing acts of kindness and being more thoughtful, it actually releases dopamine and serotonin which gives us a “helper’s high.” Here are a few ways that it shows up mentally:
- Boosts mood
- Increases happiness
- Strengthens social connection
- Improves levels of trust
- Promotes positive thoughts and outlook on life
We were all taught that being a thoughtful human was good for the world. Now we know that it has awesome mental health benefits too! We also love that it promotes connection between you and other people.
How Feeling Thoughtful Shows Up Physically
Being thoughtful also has physical benefits! Yep, you heard that right. So we guess that it REALLY pays off to be nice! We hope that you would’ve been thoughtful before, but now you have a great reason! Here’s a whole list of them, friend:
- Increases energy
- Lowers stress and anxiety
- Reduces pain by releasing endorphins
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lengthens lifespan
We know that you’re already reaping your rewards by reading this article (because you’re a thoughtful person!). So good on ya! You’re lengthening your lifespan one good deed at a time. Immortality anyone?
5 Ways To Appreciate Feeling Thoughtful
We’ve given you some insight into what feeling thoughtful really means and how you can be more aware and direct with your thoughtfulness towards others. But what about YOU? Yes, you. Here some ways you can appreciate feeling thoughtful by making some time for yourself:
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: journaling is an underrated practice. So when you’re feeling thoughtful, write about it! Describe the ways you wanna act more thoughtfully and make a positive impact in someone’s life. It’ll give a clearer picture in your mind of your priorities and how you can start spreading kindness!
2. Do something creative
Use your favourite creative outlet to channel those thoughtful feelings. Get artsy by drawing, sketching, doing calligraphy or painting. Write poems or try blog writing. Practice an instrument, sing, dance! Feeling sentimental can really inspire you to create something amazing, and the possibilities are endless. Then, you can share your work with someone else!
3. Connect with a friend
Our true friends are there for us when we need them most by making our day a little brighter. So why not connect with a friend and pass on the good vibes you’re feeling?! Ask to go out for a coffee, a nice stroll in the park, or even FaceTime just to catch up. Spending time with our friends is a great way to maintain our good spirits!
4. Practice deep breathing
Try it with us: breathe innn… and breathe outtt. Taking a moment to focus on your breathing has actually been proven to lower anxiety and reduce stress. Plus, deep breathing slows your heart rate and provides your brain with enough oxygen to chill out a bit and collect your thoughts. As you’re breathing, focus on this feeling of thoughtfulness.
5. Practice gratitude
Be intentional about seeking out all of the positive things in your life. Take notice of them and show appreciation. Thank the people in your life who make it better through those acts of kindness we talked about! It feels great to pass along the good vibes.
There you have it. Keep on being the thoughtful human that you are because we promise that it doesn’t go unnoticed!