When was the last time you said, “Thank you”? No, really. Can you remember the last day you spread some happiness in this ole world? How, you ask? Easy.

Little things can make a big difference. Acknowledge the fact that he always starts shoveling as soon as the snow starts falling. Notice how she always remembers your favorite dessert. Heck, you are what you eat. So eat something sweet. Heh. Simply because someone does something for you every day is no reason to take it for granted. All the more reason to assure them that you value it. After all, the only really decent thing to do behind someone’s back is to pat it.

So how do you show approval, admiration, and appreciation? Did you know that simply listening to someone shows tremendous respect and regard? And listening is not as easy as it sounds. I mean she just stopped and said, “You weren’t even listening, were you?” And you thought: That’s a pretty weird way to start a conversation. Lol. Then again, listening to some people is like reading the terms and conditions of a website: You don’t understand a word of it but you still say: “I agree.”

Don’t be stingy with compliments. See a stranger on the street with cool shoes? Go ahead and flatter them. It might even make their day. Send her that favorite treat for no reason. Toss a sweet note in the box while you’re at it. You do know the four basic food groups, don’t you? Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffles. Choose wisely.

I know. Sometimes you want your tip to say: “Do a better job.” But the next time you receive especially nice treatment at the restaurant or salon, bump up the tip percentage on your tab. Hold the door open for someone next time you walk into a building. Give someone a seat on the bus or train. By the way, why do they call it “rush hour” when nothing is moving? Sheesh. How about letting someone pull in front of you on the highway – despite the maddening traffic.

What if someone went so over the top for you that you feel emotionally compelled to show them gratitude? How do you do it? Has anyone touched you so profoundly that it changed your life? Get in your time machine, sweet friends, and write a handwritten note. I know. How old-fashioned. But hey, what’s more satisfying: Slamming the receiver down on that old-fashioned phone or furiously pressing: “End Call”? Lol. Raise your hand if you own personalized stationery, or even know what it is. You received a gift recently. Why not write a note telling her how you used it and enjoyed it. Bumped into an old friend recently? Let him know how nice it was to see him again.

Do you know what’s numero uno on the top ten list? Nothing says “I care about you” more than simply giving your friend your time. Too busy, you say? Yes, we all know what a busy day you had converting oxygen into carbon dioxide. And you’re too busy to tell people how busy you are. We get it. But truthfully, it’s all about priorities, sweet friends.

Don’t exactly want to mow their entire lawn or wash all their windows? How about something sweet and thoughtful like helping clean up after a delicious dinner? The most important four words in a marriage? “I’ll do the dishes.”

If you truly believe someone makes the world a better place, please tell her. Give him a warm welcome when he walks in the door. Send her an Instagram post that you know will make her smile. Compliment: “Our time together is like a nap; it just doesn’t last long enough.” Heh. “I pretty much only feel comfortable when I’m around you. You’re like the sweatpants of my life.” “You’re cooler than a childhood secret handshake.” Awww.

Can’t seem to remember? Set aside a certain time each day to value everything you have: That annoying rain, which happens to be nourishing all the plants; the pothole that incidentally is on a paved road that you drive to work on each day in your comfortable car. You get the idea…

Express your approval or affection to at least three people every day – even if it’s a stranger on the street. Just think: That slice of pizza you are eating had about 30 people involved in getting it onto your plate. Think about it.

Above all, don’t forget to appreciate yourself, sweet friend. Name three ways you’ve impressed yourself lately. I, for one, appreciate every single one of you.

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 facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.