Valentine’s Day is one day each year that we generally over express our feelings for the people we care about because Hallmark, Kay Jewelers and Russell Stover has told us to do so. We become a bit more affectionate and sweeter to our family and friends and show our appreciation to our coworkers but I’d like to take a deeper look at the meaning of Valentine’s Day. Call me sentimental or maybe it’s that wake up call we all received this weekend with the loss of Whitney Houston but it got me wondering… did the people who really love her let her know how they felt? Have you told the ones you love how much they mean to you or gone even further and told them why? I’ve found (and this is pure experience, no science) that if you are honest about your feelings and what you want you will find success. If the outcome isn’t in your favor then be proud of your effort to go after what was important to you at that moment, it is courageous. That doesn’t just pertain to romantic relationships, it’s true for business, family and friends. So, lets dive into the more gushy stuff.
Notice I said show appreciation in that first paragraph. A simple thank you goes a long way and can be a powerful motivator. Studies suggest that showing appreciation and being grateful can improve well being, physical health, strengthen social relationships, produce positive emotional states and help us cope with stressful times in our lives (PsyBlog). When was the last time you said thank you to your mate, mother, boss or barista? Would you like to hear thank you more often? I bet if we dished those two words out more we would hear them more.
Affection, Ahhhhhfection – that loving touch, a warm embrace, a gentle pat, something that makes us feel connected. We’ve all heard that a hug from a loved one can lower your blood pressure so forget the lipitor, have a hug instead. In other cultures touching is an important part of communication and social harmony, touch equals trust. When you think of it like that, it can be really powerful. So why don’t we hug and kiss those that are important to us every day? With so much stress in our lives we could all use a little more love and appreciation.
I propose a challenge to urbanites. After Valentine’s Day is over and the chocolate is gone, lets show some appreciation by saying thank you and show some love with more hugs. Just another way to make the world a more stable place.