Appreciation is both an attitude and a skill. Empty platitudes are meaningless. Therefore, before you can learn how to express appreciation toward others, we must first learn how to feel appreciative.
Consider these steps to learn to feel appreciation:
Appreciate the world around you
Take a few moments in each day to notice useful or beautiful things around you and smile at them. Imagine what the world would be like without them. Take a deep breath and be thankful for their existence (and keep smiling!).
Express your appreciation of the world to others
Tell a friend how much you appreciate breezy spring days or hot tea in the morning. Learn to verbalize your appreciation.
Practice appreciating yourself
At the end of each day, ask yourself “What can I truly be proud of today?”. Say it aloud or write it down. Practice recognizing in yourself the type of things you want to appreciate in others.
Express appreciation to others
Tell people that you appreciate them and why. If it feels strange, start with people where you have few power dynamics or attachments, then move onto employees, colleagues and loved ones.
So take a few moments in each day to notice useful or beautiful things around you and enjoy them. Imagine what the world would be like without them. Take a deep breath and be thankful for their existence, your existence and more importantly the gift of being able to experience them in your own way each day.
Peace and Love, Jim