The Surprising Power of Appreciation

Earlier this week, I was learning about the appreciation system at the company that I work at. We can appreciate colleagues, managers, direct reports with Thank You notes or Thank You notes + monetary award. I think this is an interesting way to empower people to express gratitude and appreciate fellow team members for their time and effort.

Recently, I have received a lot of help from colleagues, some of them even spent time going through some subjects in depth. I wanted to appreciate them with the monetary awards, though I was not certain where the money would come from. I then asked my manager, Chris, about it. Not only have I learned about how the whole systems works but also was I encourage to use the appreciation system. He later mentioned to me that our body undergoes a chemical reaction (happiness :) )when we appreciate someone. That’s the exact inspiration of this post.

Since the start of 2016, I have been appreciating and expressing gratitude to whomever I cross paths with. For example, I see the janitor, “Thank you for making the environment so clean”. I see the garbage guy, “Thank you for doing your job”. I do feel a strange sense of happiness whenever I appreciate someone, and I keep doing it because it feels good but I never understood why. Let’s find out today!

What happens when a person gives an appreciation?

So I did a little research and found the following,

Positive emotions like love, compassion, and appreciation, on the other hand, counteract the physiology of the stress response. They send up feel-good hormones like norepinephrine. Dopamine flows in the brain’s pleasure pathways. Heart rhythms relax into a more stable, coherent order.
Gratitude, it turns out, may be one of the most powerful ways to get that “warm-glow’ feeling. Better yet, it seems like that warm glow may actually spread from one person to those in his near vicinity. [1]

Wow! It’s very inspiring to learn how our body changes when we possess positive emotions and also how the the positive energy radiate outwards to our immediate surroundings.

What happens when a person receives an appreciation?

Now that we know how our body reacts when we appreciate someone, lets find out how our body will react when we get appreciated. Surprisingly, our body will react in a similar fashion. We feel good because of the feel-good hormones that get send up to our brain.

“The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.” — William James

I believe, we as humans want to be valued for who we are and recognized for our contributions and accomplishments. It’s a humble feeling to know that we’ve made a difference in someone’s life. Whenever we receive a heartfelt appreciation from others for something we have done, it boosts our spirit, passion and purpose. It further builds our self-confidence, self-esteem and our entire self-image. All because appreciation satisfies our craving of feeling valued.

Six benefits by showing your appreciation [2]

  1. When you give people a sincere compliment, words of encouragement or just a warm smile, you are making their world a better place. You are making them feel appreciated and valuable.
  2. When you express your approval or gratitude for something they have done, you will not only enhance their lives, but you will enrich yours as well. You will feel more fulfilled because you have done something to make someone else’s life better.
  3. One of the laws of the universe states that what you give you get in return. It costs little or nothing and it almost always follows suit that they will demonstrate their gratitude for what you do.
  4. When you show an interest in others by noticing the good things they’ve done, they will be drawn to you like a magnet. It will accelerate the relationship building process and enhance their overall impression of you.
  5. It will increase your value to the market. When you show your appreciation to others, their respect for you will grow and so will your influence as a leader. In today’s world people have choices. They absolutely prefer to work with people they like and trust and who show an interest in them.
  6. It’s a free form of currency. People will do more for recognition than they will for money. If you are in a leadership position, remember that people will work harder and do more if they know they will be recognized for their accomplishments. Show them you care and they will be loyal to you, even if better opportunities come their way.

It sure seems like appreciation not only makes us feel great it also empowers others to achieve more. That’s an amazing power!

Thank you for reading :)

With great love and respect,

If you want to make this world a better place, I recommend and challenge you with great love and respect to start appreciating the big & small things/people around you. Let me know how it goes!

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