Continuing with the October theme of Gratitude, here is the next challenge.
Gratitude Challenge-Expressing Appreciation
The challenge: Do this expressing appreciation exercise every day for one week.
Time: 5-10 minutes
Requirements: Somebody you are close to and your keen sense of observation.
- Pick somebody who you are close to, whom you see or speak to daily. This could be a family member, spouse, friend, co-worker. It is recommended that you do this exercise with the same person for the duration of the week, if you can.
- Through-out the day, pay attention to your interactions with this person. Pay attention to how he/she makes you feel.
- Pick one or two moments when you notice your mood improve as a result of this person’s words or actions, and express your appreciation.
- In addition to expressing appreciation, specify how his/her words or actions improved your moods.
- A simple formula that you can use is ” When I heard/saw you __________________, I felt__________________. Thank-you.
The outcome: Your mood will likely improve every time you express gratitude. Over time, the way in which you see this person may also change for the better, as you will likely notice positive words/actions more readily.
Theory behind exercise: As mentioned in the previous exercise, feeling gratitude has many benefits. These include increased optimism, decreased feelings of loneliness and isolation, a stronger immune system, and lower blood pressure. By consciously looking for the positive interactions and expressing appreciation when they occur, you are creating a more positive framework from which to experience your relationship. In other words, instead of either being neutral or focusing on whats wrong with your relationship, which people have a tendency to do, by expressing gratitude, your focus expands to what’s working well and what makes you happy. This in turns creates a stronger sense of satisfaction in your relationship.
Keep noticing the good, and let’ em know you appreciate it!
We would love to know what your experience was like with this expressing appreciation challenge in the comments below!