headshotI have realized how important it is for every one of us to feel like we matter—that we’re valued for what we do or say. Especially when life is complicated by health crisis, we may forget to acknowledge those people most important to us, as well as those we interact with on a daily basis.

Here are eight ideas to show people they matter:

1. Say “Thank You”
Think about a time when you did something nice for someone and he or she never even acknowledged it with thanks. How did that make you feel? Say “thank you” and mean it. Don’t overlook the power of those two words and how they recognize a person.

2. Focus on the Positive
It’s often easiest to point out what your loved ones or those supporting you do wrong rather than what they do right. Next time you’re about to criticize someone, stop and think of something good you can say instead. Both kids and adults need reassurance that they’re doing something right.

3. Give Gifts
Think of a reason to give someone a gift perhaps for no reason at all! A gift could be a poem, a present, a meal, a compliment, an outing or anything special you do for another. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give someone a gift. It could simply be the gift of time or listening.

4. Speak Your Appreciation
Get into the habit of telling people what you love or appreciate about them. Say it when it counts the most—in the moment, not when it’s too late.

5. Be a Hugger
A hug can be all a person needs to feel like they’re appreciated. Touch creates a physical, emotional and spiritual connection that is critical at all stages of life from infanthood to adulthood.

6. Make Eye Contact
Nothing feels worse than someone who can’t look you in the eyes when they’re talking to you. It makes you feel uncomfortable, unwanted and unimportant. Eye contact shows people that their presence, thoughts and words are valuable to you.

7. Brag in Public
If there’s someone in your life whom you feel should be recognized, do something public about it. It could simply be a toast during a small dinner gathering or a speech at a big party. What’s important is the intent to recognize someone in front of others.

8. Be Present
Nothing says “you don’t matter” more than picking up a call or texting while you’re with someone else. Be present with the people. Turn off your cell phone and put it away. If you absolutely have to take a call, apologize, explain why and make it quick. It is just good manners.

Debbie Gisonni is an author, speaker, health and wellness expert and realtor® who inspires people to make simple changes that radically improve their self-awareness, well-being and success. She is the author of The Goddess of Happiness, Vita’s Will and Note to Self: Love and writes a blog for the San Francisco Examiner.com and Huffington Post. She is certified as an Integrative Health Coach and Hypnotherapist. Contact: www.debbiegisonni.com.

Guest Blogger
Digging Deep accepts guest posts on many topics from a wide range of experts, patients, health care practitioners, and others who work with sick children and teens. We welcome your perspectives and stories to share regarding ways to support the emotional needs of children with health challenges and the families and professionals who support them. Please email: info@diggingdeep.com if you would like to be a guest blogger.
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