Appreciation is an underutilized, yet hugely valuable, ingredient in successful relationships. Many of us take a major blow to our self-esteem when we divorce. Practicing appreciation of ourselves and others can help heal our wounded hearts. It is like a fertilizer that can help relationships grow and strengthen. Expressing verbal and non-verbal appreciation for another helps build safe and loving communication channels.
Wondering how to get into the groove of appreciation? Here are the seven strategies I call the “Appreciation A-B-Cs” to get you off to a great start. Each of these strategies is simple and effective, whether you’re in a relationship or not.
1. Keep Your Appreciation Simple.
Your verbal statements of appreciation to another don’t have to be fancy or long. Drs. Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks, renowned psychotherapists who advocate appreciation as a way to create lasting relations, recommend keeping it within the length of time for one out-breath. Try a simple “I appreciate you for ____…” to get you started.
2. Speak from Your Heart, not Your Head.
Don’t think too much! Your most effective guide is your heart, not your head. Take a moment to breathe, visualize your heart and let the words flow from there.
3. Keep It Up.
Expressing appreciation on a regular basis is more effective than going on a binge one day and then dropping into radio silence for the next two weeks. Set some simple goals like expressing one heart-felt appreciation to your partner each day. One woman credited starting daily appreciations with reviving a flagging marriage! If you are single, give yourself that yummy appreciation or call a friend and express your appreciation for that friendship. Giving and receiving appreciation may feel awkward initially, just like a muscle that hasn’t been called upon for a while. Simply keep up your efforts and soon it’ll become a natural and effortless habit.
4. Cover All the Bases
Once you start looking, there are so many things you will realize you appreciate in the people in your life! Look at what they do; how they communicate; how they look; how you relate to each other. Look for things to appreciate and you’ll start to …read more