Practice Appreciation to Increase Life Satisfaction

February 21, 2017 Silke Morin

If you practice appreciation you can increase life satisfaction. When you practice appreciation, you are acknowledging the worth and significance of someone or something. The act of appreciating enhances positive emotions (The Magic of Appreciation). So, if you want to improve your own emotional wellbeing and live a more blissful life, start practicing appreciation.

According to psychologists Mitchel Adler and Nancy Fagley, appreciation is acceptance of the worth and significance of a person, place, or thing, and the positive emotion that is attached to that acceptance.

How to Practice Appreciation to Increase Life Satisfaction

When you practice appreciation, you're activating 8 separate aspects of wellbeing. Appreciation is more than thanks. Learn how to practice appreciation here.

While we tend to think of appreciation as simply being thankful, Adler and Fagley claim that there are in fact eight aspects of appreciation, all of which enhance emotional wellbeing.

  • Focus -- Concentrate on what you have rather than what you don’t have. What you have may include real things, like your mom, or abstract concepts, like love.
  • Awe -- Foster a sense of wonder in the world. Connect to something greater than yourself like nature or a higher power (The Relationship Between Anxiety and Awe).
  • Ritual -- Develop life-affirming rituals (a routine) that help you practice appreciation. Meditation and journaling are examples of rituals that help you develop appreciation.
  • The present moment -- Savor the present moment. Instead of focusing on the past or the future, be present right now.
  • Self-comparison -- Take time to reflect on difficulties you’ve experienced. This will help you appreciate how good things are now.
  • Gratitude -- Give thanks for the good things in your life. Think, write, or speak your thanks (Gratitude and Feeling Better About Yourself).
  • Adversity -- Recognize when times are hard. This will make you less likely to take easy times for granted.
  • Interpersonal -- Acknowledge the people with whom you are connected, those who love and support you. Build your personal connections (Connecting with Others, Friendship Enhance Mental Health).

Fagley found that incorporating these eight aspects into your life can contribute to overall life satisfaction. Practicing appreciation can enhance the positive emotions you experience and buffer you from negative experiences. In other words, when you become more appreciative, you start to live a more blissful life.

Practice Appreciation to Enhance Your Wellbeing

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APA Reference
Morin, S. (2017, February 21). Practice Appreciation to Increase Life Satisfaction, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Silke Morin

Silke Morin is a scientist, educator, and writer in Austin, Texas. Striving to live a contemplative life, marked by kindness, compassion, and joy, Silke is the author of Find Silke on Twitter, Google+, and Twitter.

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