The Truth About Appreciation

You probably know what you’re grateful for right now in your life, but do you know why

Every night as we’ve just climbed into bed and the lights go out, my partner and I ask each other what we’re grateful for from the day. Sometimes they’re super quick lists – the sunshine, the delicious lunch, and getting a cycle in. Other times, they’re long detailed explanations about various happenings and how good they made us feel, what was so special about them, and why we’re so grateful for them in that moment. 

I love these ones the best. 

And here’s why – when I hear anyone share how much they’re grateful for something, it stirs my soul and lights me up too. I can’t help but feel their joy, their excitement, their love and their deep deep appreciation for life. 

Even though I may not have been involved in their experience at all, or even if it’s something so far removed from my “normal” that it’s hard to put myself in their shoes – their appreciation and the feeling of joy they ooze sharing it with me, quickly infuses into my being. 

There’s science behind the why – it gets us into the experience. In coaching terms we’d call this association. Meaning you are feeling the feelings, as if you’re in that same movie. 

When we just share the ‘facts’ of what we appreciate, without the why, it’s still nice. It can still bring a smile or a shift or even a conscious acknowledgement. However it’s somewhat dissociated – as if you are watching the movie instead of being an active participant. 

If you really want to enhance the feel goods and joy in your life, this simple shift is really powerful! Next time you’re sharing what you’re grateful for (in your journal or in conversation), add in your why. Share what that thing gives you, why it makes you feel grateful, or what difference it makes in your life. 

Pay attention to how you feel in that very moment of sharing. Where and how the feeling shows up in your body. Acknowledge it, soak it up. Those feel goods are doing great things for your body, mind and soul. 

You can try the exact same thing by listening to someone else’s share too. Ask them why and see how the feeling amplifies, not just for them, for you too!