Being appreciative is one of the most powerful habits you can build if it is not something that comes naturally to you. Not only does it help you build relationships with others, but also it helps you build a positive outlook and reduce stress.

So how do you develop an “attitude of gratitude?” It’s all about where you focus — are you obsessed with all the things that are wrong with a situation, or do you search for the silver lining? Are you present and paying attention to your surroundings, or distracted by the latest technology? Have you thought about what you take for granted?

How appreciative are you?

One of the best ways to develop appreciation is to focus intentionally on it — and an easy way to do that is to keep a gratitude journal. Find a small notebook or gather a few pieces of paper together and just start recording things that you notice throughout your day that you are grateful for in the journal.

Depending on where you are on the gratitude scale, your goal may be to write down just one thing a day… or one hundred! Stretch yourself. Then, note the ones for which you could thank someone… and then thank them!

This week’s Challenge: This week, I will keep a gratitude journal to help build the habit of being appreciative.

Avoiding being Flattering (overuse): Appreciation that is insincere becomes flattery. It may be that you are unconsciously trying to get something (someone to like you, someone to do something you want them to, etc.), or it may be that you are working too hard at being appreciative. Appreciation without authenticity is hollow and sometimes even sarcastic.

It is important to tune in to what you truly value and offer thanks for those things, without any expectation of something in return. If you start to feel insincerity seep into your expressions of gratitude, take a step back and tune into those things you truly value, no strings attached.

Commendable Trait: Appreciative
Underused: Unappreciative
Overused: Flattering
Strength: Likability
Quadrant: Humanity

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