• Talea Cook

Practical Ways to Love Those Around Us

The most recent world events have shown us that we need one another. We need community, people to rely on. We as humans are wired to connect with each other. How does one show love, appreciation, for those around you? As a mother of three, one thing that my kids have shown me is how simple showing love can be every single day. Showing someone that you love or appreciate them doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or involve a flash mob.

It can be as simple as to slow down. We can become so frantically busy going from one task to the next that we forget to slow down and notice those around us. It isn’t done out of malice or that we forget that people other than ourselves exist, it’s because life is designed to keep us busy. There is always another task, another text, another thing to keep us on the go. Instead take a minute to chat with a neighbor or the person in the grocery line next to you. Stop and really listen to your best friend or your child talk about something they love and are interested in. Put away the phone or maybe even shut it off one day a week to remind yourself to take time to slow down and be with the people around you.

It can be as simple as sharing an encouraging or kind word. It’s even more impactful when the person you are encouraging has words as their love language. But more than that, kindness is like hugs for our brains, it releases oxytocin, commonly known as the “love hormone” which makes us happier and healthier, both as the person on the receiving and giving end! Just simply being kind is a way to show love that is greatly overlooked, but has a great impact on ourselves and those around us. Compliments are an easy way to start the kind words cycle and get yourself into the habit of being kind with every word you speak.

Lastly, showing love to those around us can also be as simple as remembering something personal. Asking someone how things in their lives are going, beyond just the usual “how’s it going?” is a great way to connect with another person. So often we ask people how they are or how something is going in their lives without actually taking the time to sit with them and ask follow up questions. Asking one or two more questions beyond just, how are you doing with this, allows the person to share more deeply the things they are going through rather than just give a cursory answer.

Us as people are wired to connect, to love and to be loved. And sometimes it is the simplest of things that you can do to practically show the people around you that you love and care about them.