Have you taken the time to appreciate a relationship lately? Did you know that it is one of our fundamental psychological needs? William James, the father of psychology, stated that the most fundamental psychological need is to be appreciated. So, it’s no wonder that hearing appreciative words makes us feel so good. Appreciating someone or something involves noticing and acknowledging its value and meaning and feeling a positive emotional connection to it. Alder & Fagley found that appreciation was significantly related to life satisfaction and well-being. We are very familiar with the need to be accomplished, have intimate relationships, have safety, and of course have our physiological needs (food, water, and rest). But we don’t spend time thinking of how giving appreciation is a fuel that ignites many of these. Realizing the linkage between appreciation and positive well-being shows why the act of sharing appreciation is so important for us and our relationship connections.
Here are some steps to take to give appreciation to others.
- Give those in your relationship circle a common thank you.
- Write a kind note that expresses your appreciation.
- Share the appreciation given to you in a story to someone else.
- Be mindful of a balance between appreciation in your life.
- Know that appreciation is the fuel for mindful relationships and living.