As we move through our lives, it's easy to get caught up in our daily routines and go through the motions on autopilot. When this happens, we sometimes forget to stop and take a look at the world around us to appreciate all that we have. More specifically, we sometimes take the people in our lives for granted and forget to let them know just how much they mean to us.
Whether it's a family member who visits your assisted living community frequently, a new friend you've made bonding over a shared hobby or a staff member who has helped you, showing gratitude will not only put a smile on someone's face, it will improve your mood as well.
"We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives," John F. Kennedy said.
All too often, we give into the "go go go mentality" of the modern world, thinking that we need to remain constantly occupied or busy. While this is sometimes helpful in achieving goals, it might cause us to forget to stop and say thank you. JFK reminds us of the importance of not just feeling appreciation for those who better your life, but taking the time to actually let people know that they matter to you.
Happiness and joy are wonderful feelings, but are something we must work toward when negative sensations arise. This could happen because of a stressful time in your life or when things are not going according to plan. Instead of giving in to frustration or anger, however, try to change your perspective and cultivate a sense of gratitude for all of the good in your life. Unfortunately, we cannot control every aspect of our lives, so being appreciative of what we have is a terrific way to counter those stressful times.
Psych Central suggested a few ways that you can show people that you're thankful for them:
Say thank you: Take it a step beyond thinking it and actually tell someone thank you when they are kind to you or help you.
Notice the little things: It's easy to take notice of grand gestures, but paying attention to the little ways people show that they care will make you feel even more grateful, and people will be happy to know that these gestures are meaningful.
Give back: It's important to take the time to tell people that you appreciate them, but you can show them as well. Do a favor without asking, make a plan to spend time with a loved one or help someone out and you'll find that both of you will feel better for it.
Kelley D. Hamilton