© Glow Images. Model used for illustrative purposes
Everyone likes to do well. And while we don’t seek applause for being a caring parent, or a hard worker, or just plain doing a good job in life, receiving someone’s praise and encouragement can give us a much needed lift. It can help us keep going when we’re feeling down, or when life is hectic or times are tough. That’s why it’s important for us to be encouraging of ourselves, and each other. It’s good for our health.
So how do we become an encouraging person? What is encouragement? It’s words that boost one’s spirit; that comfort, or give moral support; that praise the good things being done; that remind us, our kids, or workmates to keep going; that we’re doing well with our daily tasks. This generous encouragement can be given and received every day, at home, work, school, church, or in community groups. An encouraging person shows their humanity through kind and reassuring words. Their encouragement blesses both giver and receiver and leads to greater happiness and good health.
BE ENCOURAGING TO YOURSELF
The first person to be encouraged each day is you. This is not a selfish act. The rule is, “Love your neighbour as yourself” - not instead of yourself. - Bible, Mark 12:31. Taking time to encourage and strengthen your own thinking first, enables you to be of greater help to others. Remember the safety instruction when flying? Put on your own oxygen mask first, before helping someone else!
Patiently, gently, encourage yourself. Say often, “I’m doing well”.
Don’t hold on to negative thoughts about your efforts or capabilities.
Take a moment to remind yourself of the good you’re accomplishing at home or work. This will lift you spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
BE ENCOURAGING TO OTHERS
If you want a happy home or workplace, be encouraging of your family and work colleagues. Don’t be a criticizer – especially if your opinion hasn’t been asked for. If you have to point out another’s shortcoming, do it with gentleness and grace. Also include words of praise. Remember, a “spoonful of sugar (encouragement) helps the medicine go down”. - Disney’s, Mary Poppins
- Don’t take others for granted. Praise them for what they’re accomplishing. This will help propel them to achieve more.
- Encourage one another daily. Speak words that inspire and cheer the disheartened. - Bible, I Thessalonians 5:11
- Don’t feel envious of the good things others are doing. Be generous. Support them.
- Be encouraging. “Give of your heart’s rich overflow”. – Minny M.H. Ayers. It’s good for your health.
ABOUT THE EXPERT
Beverly Goldsmith writes about the connection between spirituality and health and is a Practitioner and Teacher of Christian Science healing. Twitter: @GoldsmithBev