20 Ways to Show Your Appreciation and Brighten Lives

Welcome to this joy-filled journey of appreciation and gratitude! 

In a time where a simple “thank you” often gets lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s time to bring back the habit of showing our appreciation. Get ready as we embark on this adventure within ourselves, exploring why it matters and how it can transform relationships, and discover over 20 amazing ways to express gratitude. 

So, get ready to bring being more appreciative back in style!

Why Showing Appreciation Matters

Boosts Spirits and Strengthens Bonds

Showing appreciation is like fueling the fire of positivity. It lifts spirits, strengthens bonds, and ignites a sense of connection and belonging.

Enhances Well-being

According to research, expressing gratitude helps improve our mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. 

As Alex Kolb, PhD shares in his book, The Upward Spiral: “There’s a GRATITUDE-CIRCUIT in your brain, badly in need of a workout. Strengthening that circuit can elevate your physical and mental health, boost happiness, improve sleep, and help you feel more connected to other people.”

Creates a Ripple Effect

When we show appreciation, it creates a ripple effect that extends far beyond the initial act. As we practice being more grateful and express it more often, it inspires others to do the same.

Different Ways to Show Appreciation

1. Verbal Expressions

Shower with Sincere Compliments
Let your words be the sparkling gems that light up someone’s day. Shower them with genuine compliments that acknowledge their unique qualities and achievements.

Speak from the Heart
Take a moment to express your appreciation sincerely and directly. Speak from the heart, sharing specific examples of how the person has made a positive impact on your life.

2. Acts of Service

Offer a Helping Hand
Actions speak louder than words. Extend a helping hand by assisting with tasks, running errands, or offering your skills and expertise to make someone’s life easier.

Surprise with Breakfast in Bed
Rise and shine, and bring a smile to someone’s face by surprising them with a delicious breakfast in bed. Prepare their favorite morning dishes and drinks and let them know how much you appreciate them.

Complete a Task
Take the initiative to tackle a task that’s been weighing on someone’s shoulders. Whether it’s cleaning the house, fixing something, or organizing a space, your act of service will be deeply appreciated.

3. Quality Time

Plan a Special Date
Set aside dedicated time to create cherished memories together. Plan a special date tailored to their interests, whether it’s a picnic in the park, a museum visit, or a cozy movie night at home.

Active Listening
Give the gift of undivided attention. Listen actively and show you are genuinely interested in their thoughts and feelings by actively listening.

Share a Hobby
Discover shared interests and engage in activities that bring you closer together. Whether it’s cooking, painting, or hiking, spending quality time doing something you both enjoy deepens the bond of appreciation.

4. Recognition & Praise

Public Acknowledgment
Shine the spotlight on someone deserving by publicly recognizing their accomplishments or contributions. Whether it’s a heartfelt speech or a social media shoutout, let the world know how much you appreciate them.

Employee Appreciation Programs
If you’re a business owner or manager, implement employee appreciation programs to celebrate and reward outstanding work. From monthly awards to team outings, let your employees know their efforts are valued.

Surprise Workplace Celebrations
Organize impromptu celebrations at work to honor milestones, birthdays, or simply to appreciate your colleagues’ hard work. A surprise cake, balloons, or a small gesture can go a long way.

A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 93% of employees “who reported feeling valued said that they are motivated to do their best at work, and 88 percent reported feeling engaged.”

5. Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness
Spread love and appreciation through random acts of kindness. Pay for someone’s coffee, leave a kind note on a stranger’s windshield, or donate to a cause close to their heart.

Donate in Their Name
Show appreciation while making a positive impact on society. Make a donation to a charitable organization in the name of the person you appreciate, supporting a cause they care about deeply.

6. Non-Verbal Cues

Warm Hugs
Wrap someone in a warm, heartfelt hug. It’s an unspoken language that communicates love, support, and appreciation.

Thoughtful Gifts
Surprise your loved ones with carefully selected gifts that reflect their passions and interests. Gourmet Gift Baskets, for example, offers a delectable array of handcrafted gift baskets that are sure to delight.

Encourage Self-Care
Show you care by encouraging self-care. Gift relaxation items like scented candles, bath bombs, fruit baskets, or a pampering spa session.

The Power of Written Appreciation

Expressing appreciation through the written word holds a special place in our hearts. However, the practice might be a little bit forgotten about in this dominantly digital era.

According to a study conducted by Amit Kumar, assistant professor of marketing at the McCombs School of Business, and Nicholas Epley, from the University of Chicago, the practice continues to also be underestimated by many in terms of how effective it is for expressing appreciation and gratitude:

“Expressers significantly underestimated how surprised recipients would be about why expressers were grateful, overestimated how awkward recipients would feel, and underestimated how positive recipients would feel.”

Go express your appreciation with something as simple as a pen and paper. Be detailed and specific about why you appreciate the person, and deliver it in person for an extra touch of sincerity:

  • Be Specific: Detail the actions or qualities you appreciate, making the message personal and meaningful.
  • Share Impact: Describe how their actions positively impacted your life or the lives of others, reinforcing the significance of their efforts.
  • Use Figurative Language: Paint a vivid picture with metaphors, similes, and descriptive language to evoke emotions and capture the essence of your appreciation.

Showing Appreciation in Personal Relationships

two co-workers exchanging thoughtful gifts on a couchAppreciating Family Members

Expressing gratitude within our family circles strengthens the bonds that hold us together. Here are some ways to show appreciation to family members:

  • Surprise Acts of Kindness: Treat your family to unexpected acts of kindness, such as preparing their favorite meal, running errands, or leaving sweet notes of appreciation.
  • Family Game Night: Gather for a fun-filled game night encouraging laughter, bonding, and cherished memories.
  • Share Family Stories: Reminisce about shared experiences, recounting stories that highlight the positive impact each family member has had on your life. Take this activity to another level by sharing in a gift box or basket from Gourmet Gift Baskets filled with your favorite snacks.

Appreciating Friends

True friends are like stars that light up our lives. Here are ways to show appreciation to your friends:

  • Plan a Surprise Outing: Organize a surprise outing tailored to your friend’s interests or hobbies. It could be a picnic in the park, a visit to a museum, or a concert they’ve been eager to attend.
  • Create a Memory Book: Compile cherished memories, photos, and heartfelt messages into a personalized memory book that captures the essence of your friendship.
  • Host a Friends’ Appreciation Night: Dedicate an evening to celebrate your friendship. Enjoy good food and wine, laughter, and heart-to-heart conversations that deepen your connection.

Appreciating Spouses or Significant Others

Our spouses or significant others are more often than not the people we spend the most of our time with, and showing our appreciation can help further strengthen bonds that are arguably also the most put to the test among all our relationships.

Research has even shown that expressing gratitude releases oxytocin or the “love hormone” which builds a greater connection and bond between two people. Here are ways to keep that going:

  • Express Physical Affection: Physical touch is a powerful language of love. Show appreciation by cuddling, holding hands, giving gentle massages, or stealing kisses throughout the day. These small gestures of affection remind your partner of your love and appreciation.
  • Support Their Dreams: Show your unwavering support for your partner’s dreams and aspirations. Encourage them to pursue their passions, provide them with the resources they need, and cheer them on every step of the way.
  • Verbal Affirmations: Speak words of love and appreciation to your partner. Let them know why you love and appreciate them. Compliment their qualities, acknowledge their efforts, and remind them of the positive impact they have on your life.
  • Surprise them with their favorites: Whether they have an extreme fondness for chocolates, see themselves as wine aficionados, or simply enjoy the simplicity of watching a movie with their favorite snacks, a regular day can easily become a spouse-appreciation day with a thoughtful gift that’s “just because.”

Showing Appreciation in Challenging Situations

Showing appreciation or gratitude isn’t always the easiest, particularly in situations with conflict,  discomfort, and even failure. But then again, there’s always a silver lining in everything, here’s how to find and be thankful for it:

  • Express Empathy: During conflicts or disagreements, take a moment to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Show appreciation for their perspective and demonstrate a willingness to find common ground.
  • Focus on Growth: Express appreciation for the opportunity to learn and grow from challenging situations. Acknowledge the strength and resilience it takes to navigate difficulties.

Creative and Thoughtful Ways to Show Appreciation to Others

  • Personalized Gift Baskets: Gourmet Gift Baskets offers a delightful array of handcrafted thank you gift baskets, filled with gourmet treats and carefully selected items. Whether it’s an appreciation gift for a spouse, family member, friend, or co-worker, we have a gift basket that can express how grateful you are. Our selection includes:
  • Fruit Baskets
  • Beer Crates
  • Fruit and Nut Platters
  • Bakery Gift Boxes
  • Meat and Cheese Gift Baskets
  • Secret Appreciation Notes: Leave anonymous appreciation notes in unexpected places for your loved ones to discover. It’s a delightful surprise that brightens their day.
  • Personalized Tokens of Appreciation: Get creative and show people you know them well and appreciate who they are with personalized tokens of appreciation, such as handmade cards or custom artwork.

Delightful Expressions With Gourmet Gift Basket

There’s a saying that the fastest way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, and what better way to express your appreciation than with a thoughtfully curated gift basket? Whether it’s a box filled with their favorite chocolates, a selection of fine wines and cheeses, a variety of craft beers, or a basket overflowing with fresh fruits and delectable treats, Gourmet Gift Baskets offer a delightful and personalized way to show that you truly care. 

These tastefully arranged gifts not only satisfy the recipient’s cravings but also convey a message of thoughtfulness and understanding. By choosing items that align with their preferences and tastes, you demonstrate that you think of them often and appreciate their unique palate. So, embrace the art of gifting and appreciation with gourmet gift baskets, and watch as your heartfelt gesture leaves a lasting impression and brings joy to those you hold dear! 


  1. “The Upward Spiral Workbook – Alex Korb, Ph.D. %.” Alex Korb, Ph.D., 6 June 2019, alexkorbphd.com/workbook/. Accessed 26 June 2023.
  2. APA. “APA Survey Finds Feeling Valued at Work Linked to Well-Being and Performance.” Https://Www.apa.org, 8 Mar. 2012, www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2012/03/well-being. Accessed 26 June 2023.‌
  3. Epley, Nicholas. “Undervaluing Gratitude: Expressers Misunderstand the Consequences of Showing Appreciation – Amit Kumar, Nicholas Epley, 2018.” Psychological Science, 2018, journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797618772506?journalCode=pssa. Accessed 26 June 2023.
  4. Daniel, Christine. “Gratitude: The Simple Way to Make Your Relationship Better and Happier | Toucan.” Toucantogether.com, Toucan, 2020, toucantogether.com/blog/gratitude-the-simple-way-to-make-your-relationship-better-and-happier. Accessed 26 June 2023.