When you hear the words “gratitude” and “appreciation” — how do you feel? What do you think? Do you feel like punching a wall (“Quit ramming “Now be grateful!” down my throat!”), or does it feel like a useful concept?
I wrote about gratitude and appreciation previously; today we’ve got a teen’s take. Give it a read. What do you think?
Fuel for Hope
“Lexie, you’re the best, I feel like you’re always taking such good care of people.”
This was something a friend of mine told me the other evening that pleasantly surprised me. Part of it is the recognition — even if we’re humble and don’t necessarily talk much about the nice things we do for others, it can still feel nice to receive some recognition for what we’ve done, no matter how brief of a moment it is.
Recognizing what someone else has done for you and actually saying something about it can be a nice little reminder that people take note of what you do and appreciate it, even if they don’t typically say anything. And all it takes is a few seconds of your time to say one small comment of appreciation to someone and possibly change their whole day for the better. As humans, I think we all truly want to be valued and loved. Someone taking a moment to acknowledge our actions simply shows us that we haven’t gone unnoticed by the world and are having some sort of impact.
Appreciation is a two-way street, though. Receiving appreciation feels wonderful, certainly. However, not to sound cheesy, but giving appreciation yourself can brighten your day just as easily. Recognition comes into play here as well in taking note of what or who you appreciate in your own life. However small it might be, there’s always something to be grateful for, even in the darkest hours. Keeping this in mind can help keep you afloat even when you feel like you’re sinking.
Give it a try. Next time you feel like ranting about all the terrible things in your life, feel free to do so and then also try to take a moment after to come up with as many things you appreciate as things you ranted about. Appreciation fuels hope, and hope can help offer light at the end of every dark tunnel.