A Spiritual Exercise: Appreciation

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Everyone benefits from appreciation. Here’s an exercise to strengthen your appreciation skills.

Pick three people that you interact with daily, and make it a goal to show appreciation to each of them at least once today. Be on the lookout for things that you genuinely admire about them or can thank or commend them for, and say or do something that tells them so. Take a moment at the end of the day to reflect on how it went. Did you meet your goal? What effect did it have on the recipients?

Repeat the exercise every day for a week, targeting some of the same people and some new ones as the week progresses. Make an effort to not choose only those people you like most or feel closest to. Even the most difficult people to get along with have some good qualities.

Showing appreciation will not only give the recipient a lift, it will also improve your own outlook by helping you view those around you more positively. It seems to be human nature to notice the bad more easily than the good, and it’s often relatively minor things that sour our relations, such as idiosyncrasies that we find irritating. By making a conscious effort to look for things to appreciate in others, focusing on the good will override human nature and make you a more positive person.

Appreciation is contagious. It may not happen overnight, but in time it will nearly always bring about a remarkable change.


Art © TFI. Text adapted from Activated magazine.

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