We are living in a world of fast-paced communication and there is no doubt that texts, emails and social media offer wonderful ways to stay in touch with friends and loved ones.  We tend to communicate in this way off-the-cuff, on the go and often with abbreviations and now increasingly emojis.  

More than ever, receiving a personal letter through the post is something quite rare and, therefore, very special.  Letters make you feel special.  They show you that you matter to the person who has written them.  They have taken time to sit down and think about how to fill the page in front of them.  

Today, letter writing is often seen as a chore.  Something formal, a letter of resignation, of complaint, of confirmation.  Instead, we should write more letters to friends and loved ones.  

Letter writing is in fact a perfect exercise in mindfulness. 

Letters keep our thoughts in the moment, on the person we are writing to and the feelings we want to express.  We have to take time to sit down and connect with what we would like to say to that one person.  

There is nearly always someone we owe a thank you to.  Expressing gratitude is known to improve our own sense of well-being and happiness.  A letter of support or encouragement is a wonderful gift to its recipient and may make all the difference to how they face a challenge or situation.  A simple “I’m sorry” letter can heal rifts or wounds.  Then there are “just because” letters, imparting news, recalling memories of time spent together.  All these different types of letter help to nurture our relationships across the miles. They are the next best thing to you being there.



Try out this little exercise in mindful letter writing. 

Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee in your favourite cup.  Get comfy with a piece of paper.  Make sure your phone is out of reach. Think of the person you would like to write a letter to.  Maybe somebody who has been on your mind for a particular reason.  Visualise them in your mind’s eye, the last time you saw them, the jokes you shared, the easy or even difficult conversation.  Then write to them from the heart.  Don’t worry too much about how you formulate your words.  If it comes from the heart it is instinctive and right.  You may write something short, but the chances are that once you start you will have more to say than you thought.  Writing this letter will probably give you as much pleasure as the person who receives and you will wish you had done it sooner.

When we created Friendinabox the whole concept was centred on the letter.  We did not want our customers to be limited to a short message. We have been privileged to send out many long heartfelt letters in our boxes and received wonderful feedback from recipients of these letters.