Hmmm. Do you feel valued and appreciated? By whom? What is more priceless than the feeling that you truly matter to someone? Other than eating chocolate, of course. Then again, the flavonoids, theobromine, and caffeine in chocolate are known to improve alertness and mental skills. Heck, nobody knows the truffles I’ve seen. You know what they say: Chocolate is G-d’s apology for broccoli.  Truthfully, feeling appreciated or highly regarded lifts you up and spurs you on like little else.

Making workers feel well received and regarded is the highest motivation a boss or manager can offer employees. Tell your boss what you think about him, and the truth shall set you free – from your job, that is. Heck, my boss asked me to start the presentation with a joke. So, I attached my pay slip in the first slide.  But truly, the more positive energy people feel, the more productive they are.

What are you most proud of achieving this past year? Were you recognized for it? So often we feel criticized or unheard even by our loved ones.  Perhaps we all need to become fluent in the language of complimenting. I’ll bet you have no trouble at all expressing your contrary views and negative emotions.  Then, again, if you do not attach yourself to praise or criticism, a certain type of freedom can be yours. Remember that not everyone knows the real you. Let them criticize who they think you are.

Do you think much of yourself? Chances are you may not acknowledge your strong suits. What do you cherish about yourself? Just for today: What can you be proud of? Not feeling it? Take some action. Do good. Help someone today. Be proud of your choices.  Do something you can celebrate. Feelings always follow actions.

We all wish to be seen. When you are vulnerable with him, and he listens with openness and kindness, you feel embraced and esteemed. When she recognized your wisdom, you felt validated and venerated. Let’s be honest. It feels good to be liked. Many of us feel judged and even shamed. We may not feel respected or highly regarded by anyone at times. Let her know how important she is to you. Tell him how he has made a difference in your life.

Give others what you long for. Find creative ways to tug at their heartstrings. Feeling accepted, even admired, strengthens your connection and bond with your loved ones. Can you feel it? When was the last time you expressed something hopeful or heartening to someone, anyone? Be generous with your kind words, sweet friends.

When he does compliment you, please let it in. Stop deflecting and second-guessing kind words. Notice how awesome it feels to be well thought of or even adored. When you feel recognized, it gives your life a sense of meaning. You make a difference to yourself and others.

Don’t you feel so much more motivated to clean when they actually notice? Listen, I dusted once. It came back. Not falling for that again.  Just finished cleaning the house. Come over, real quick. Nope, too late. Then again, housework is what you do that nobody notices, until you haven’t done it. Nuff said.

But truly, if all you ever offer your friends and family is criticism, they may give up, feeling they can never do anything right. And please don’t serve him a sandwich – stuffing criticism between two layers of positives. Remember, a statue has never been built in honor of a critic.  Speaking of sandwiches, is your fridge also a cemetery for vegetables, too? You know that feeling when someone ate the food you were hiding in the fridge? If a cookie falls on the floor and you pick it up, that’s a squat, right? Sure.

Still feeling critical and condemnatory? Relax in a warm bath and toss in some essential oils while you’re at it. Do anything to reduce your cortisol, boost your oxytocin, and increase those endorphins. Practice forgiveness, especially for the dude who just cut you off on the highway. Or the one who passes you and then slows down. Listen, I never suggested you were a bad driver. I’m sure that mailbox totally swerved into your lane. But seriously, life is so much easier when you accept an apology you never got.

There’s nothing wrong with tangible expressions of admiration or acclamation. Leave that Post-it Note. Give him a shoutout. Get her that gift card for no reason. Leave him a yummy treat. And guess what? When you feel cherished, you’re more likely to value and cherish others.

Get out in the sun. It is known to synthesize vitamin D, which is a natural mood-elevator. Smile while you’re at it. Smiling will lower your heart rate and calm you right down.

It’s been said: Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain. And most fools do.  While you’re at it, sweet friends, remember to soak up all the joy you have in your life.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at