5 Easy Steps To Be More AppreciativeJan 05, 2023
It’s easy to find ourselves so busy that we only focus our attention on the many things still on our To Do Lists and fail to pause and notice the people and things we’re grateful for, that make a positive difference in our lives.
The relatively new science of positive psychology has proven that practicing gratitude can significantly affect our sense of well-being.
When should we show appreciation?
I have a very personal story to share with you about the power of appreciation. Firstly, I’ll share with you that through my journey to self-awareness, I discovered that feeling appreciated by others gives me a sense of joy - it’s one of my top fulfillment needs. I also derive great pleasure from telling others how much I appreciate them.
My darling mother lived to the age of 95 and wanted to stay in her own apartment until the end of her life. I’m happy to share that she was able to do that with support from a number of wonderful caregivers, hospice and daily visits from me. Every day at 4:30pm I would visit mum and play cards or dominoes before making her supper. She told me she looked forward to my visits all day. It was a commitment that meant I had to say no to a number of other activities, yet I was happy to do it because of 2 things. Firstly I set myself a goal of being there for my mum with a sense of ease and grace and I was able to achieve that. Secondly, every day as I was leaving my mum would say to me “I love you so much you know, and I DO appreciate everything you do for me”. I was so lucky to have a loving and appreciative mother and this helped me to be there for her with a sense of joy and gratitude for the extra time we had together.
So when should you practice gratitude? My response would be every day, as long as it’s genuine. My mum’s words to me came from the heart and I never got tired of hearing them.
The time to show appreciation is NOW
Almost everyone likes to feel appreciated. It’s easy to notice when people do things wrong, however I’m always looking for opportunities to catch people doing things right and tell them. It can be the cashier at the supermarket who did a great job of packing my groceries, or the person who held a door open for me, or the client who gave me a wonderful testimonial - in all these instances I let others know I appreciate them.
We all have people in our lives who day in and day out, do good work, smile when they see us, listen when we need to talk something through, connect us with people and resources who could be beneficial for us, support us as we strive for our goals and love us even when we don’t always feel so loveable ourselves. It’s easy to take these people for granted, but just imagine if you paused and took a moment, once in a while, to tell them how much you appreciate them and why. It doesn’t take much time and the positive energy you transmit to them when you do this will brighten their day and everyone who interacts with them will benefit. You’ll also experience a sense of positivity just from doing this for someone else and everyone in your life will benefit too.
I was the recipient of a wonderful note of appreciation from a young woman who had recently moved to Victoria and completed my flagship online priority setting workshop “What’s Important to Me NOW?”. The goal of this workshop is to create a safe and confidential space for you to get crystal clear on your priorities. Once you have this information, you can make life and career choices that support your priorities and that’s empowering. I was so grateful that she took the time to tell me with such enthusiasm what a positive difference completing this workshop had made for her.
Who are the people in your life that you really appreciate?
At work it may be your co-workers, a mentor, the HR staff, the front-desk staff, the cleaner, your clients and if you’re really lucky, your boss.
In your personal life it may be your partner, siblings, parents, friends and others in your social network. It can even be the person at the cash register in a store you regularly visit who always has a smile or a welcoming word for you.
When you take time to show your appreciation both you and the recipient of your appreciation feel good.
Here are some simple ways to show you care:
- When you next see them tell them “I just want to let you know that I appreciate you for … (explain what it is you most appreciate)
- Send an email thanking them
- Write a letter telling them what you appreciate
- Send a “Thank You” card
- Send an electronic card – pick a theme you know they’ll enjoy
- Send a private LinkedIn or FB message telling them what you appreciate about them
- Write a note to their boss telling them about what they did and why you appreciate them
- Nominate them for an award
- Surprise them with flowers and a thank you note – a single flower in a bud vase or a small potted plant can be as powerful as a huge bouquet
- Give them a cupcake or other small treat (assuming their diet permits this)
- Tell other people in your circle how much you appreciate them – word will no doubt get back to them
- Arrange a coffee meeting and tell them face to face
- Give them a gift of Sue’s “What’s Important to Me NOW?” online workshop – it’s the next best thing to giving them a private coaching session with me, focused on identifying their top priorities
Click this link to: Give the 🎁 of more JOY, BALANCE & FULFILLMENT
How often should I show my appreciation?
If you do it too often or make it a routine thing, it can lose its impact. I knew how much my mum appreciated me and though I probably didn’t need to hear it every time I saw her, I also know it was something she felt she needed to do and I understand that.
Appreciation is ideally tied to something specific that someone has done and ideally you’ll show your appreciation right away rather that weeks or months after the event.
If you’d like to enjoy the positive benefits of showing more appreciation to others in your life, follow these simple steps
5 easy steps to become more appreciative
- Be observant and try to catch people doing something right (no matter how small) and thank them right away
- Set aside time daily or weekly to reflect on the people in your life that you appreciate and capture your observations in a gratitude journal.
- Think about the most appropriate way to thank people based on what you know about them – it means so much more if it’s personalized
- Make it a habit to show appreciation to at least one or two people in your life every week
- When updating your journal, reflect on the ways you have supported others recently – self-appreciation is an important part of self-care
The positive energy you transmit when you appreciate others will generate positive energy in you too.
If you’re interested in getting the same sense of empowerment that the young woman who moved to Victoria did, from getting crystal clear on her priorities, consider investing in lifetime access to the What’s Important to Me NOW? online workshop. Taking time to think about your needs will reduce your stress and help you make powerful choices in your personal and professional life.
Sue Maitland PCC is an ICF accredited professional life & career transitions coach. She works mostly with professionals and business owners who want to start living a more satisfying and fulfilled life.
Contact Sue at [email protected] or book a complimentary 20 minute consultation where you’ll explore how she can help you successfully navigate life and/or career transitions so you can make the rest of your life the best of your life.