Practicing the Art of Appreciation

What better time is there than Thanksgiving to think about the subject of appreciation? How often do we take the time to express our appreciation to family and friends or even to think about how grateful we are for life’s simple pleasures? Unfortunately, many tend to think about how much they appreciate something only after it is taken away or threatened in some way. Instead, we can make a conscious choice to begin a daily gratitude practice; moving away from taking the people and things we love for granted. This decision can be a very powerful transformational tool that can, literally, change our lives for the better. To get started, try these simple exercises in appreciation:

1. Start a Gratitude Journal – Keep a small journal or notebook beside your bed and every evening before going to sleep, write down five things that you are grateful for in that moment. This is a wonderful way to establish a more positive focus.

2. Try a Rampage of Appreciation – The next time you are feeling down (or waiting in line or traffic) take a look around and begin to appreciate things in your immediate environment. At the grocery store, take notice of how friendly the cashier is; at the post office notice the beautiful architecture of the building; and while waiting in traffic think about how comfortable your car is or what a beautiful, sunny day it is. Don’t stop at one thing; it’s a rampage so keep going! This exercise will help to raise your spirits. Don’t be surprised if the line or traffic starts to move more quickly, too. It really works!

3. Begin AM/PM Appreciation – Consciously practicing appreciation when you first wake up in the morning will help your day unfold much more smoothly. Appreciating at night, just before you go to sleep, will help you sleep soundly and have better dreams.

For more information on appreciation and other wellness and self-help topics, please visit us at We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!