The Power Of Appreciation

feb-1Ah February… the month of love… who doesn’t just adore a cute little guy with a bow and arrow shooting people in the butt to get them to fall in love… That’s almost as good as a leprechaun protecting a pot of gold or one of the many other cute stories told to kids throughout history.

Why not call it as it is… another day to spend your hard-earned money in hopes to draw attention to yourself in some way.

Ok, I know, some individuals are going to rant about supporting local businesses or the economy, but what is this day really about? Digging into history a bit you find it was originally about sacrifice, then outlawed and now all about money. Is that still a form of sacrifice? You worked your tail off for the money you have, so why not put it to better uses… unless you have so much money that spending a few hundred or thousand here or there is meaningless… in which case… well…

The Pen

Telling someone how you feel can be difficult for some but do we really need a single day to tell them?  Why can’t we use the rest of the calendar to appreciate others? Take a few minutes and write them a letter, on paper… don’t use email or text messages as digital media can be so… lifeless and emotionless… but take the time to actually make something yourself. It shows that you tried rather than just buying a box of chocolates and a card at the local gas station or convenience store.

So many of us take to the stores to buy big-ticket items thinking that costly possessions convey more emotion than the simple gesture of a letter. The art and creativity that goes into a 5 year olds valentines picture to parents simply amazes me. They do not know, in most cases, the monetized nature of society as it is now. They see a different world, a creative world even though many 5 year olds now have access to tablets, cell phones and other digital peripherals.

A Simple Hug

As digitized as the world is, a simple hug can have more power than what you can buy from a store… ok, maybe not but it’s still amazing to get a giant hug from someone who’s appreciative of all you may do for them. In fact, a study by Berkeley has shown that a hug is amazingly powerful on a biological level.

“Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the “trust hormone” because of its association with romance and friendship. It is released with a warm hug, a grasped hand or a loving gaze, and it increases libido.”


A Thank You Can Go A Long Way

Even the power of a simple thank you can make a difference in an individual’s day, week or even month. The recognition that they have done something that affected you in a positive way can help to create a positive atmosphere, both at home AND at work. Huffington Post has an article about the power of a thank you and in it describes how companies that scored in the top 20 percent for building a “recognition-rich culture” actually had 31 percent lower voluntary turnover. The key is that your words must be meaningful and that task is up to you.

– Eddie