As Mother’s Day approaches, we are being bombarded by advertisements urging us to celebrate this event by treating our mothers to extravagant presents as a tangible demonstration our love and appreciation.
While most mothers love getting presents – and who doesn’t love chocolates and flowers – I believe that what your mother will probably value more is hearing how much she is valued by you.
Mothers are amazing people and do amazing things. But when did you last tell her how much she means to you, how grateful you are for all her support and love? In the course of everyday life, it can be difficult, and sometimes awkward, to find the right opportunity to articulate those words of appreciation and affection.
Mother’s Day is the perfect occasion to express your gratitude to your mother and letting her know just how much you appreciate and love her. Recent research suggests that expressing gratitude can make our lives happier. By doing so, we reinforce and strengthen our relationship with the people concerned. Very often we can find it difficult to tell them directly how we feel about them. We tend to assume they know how we feel, so it doesn’t need saying. But it does – and there are many advantages from doing just this.
When you are grateful, you recognise that you have not only received a gift, but that you value this gift. You are acknowledging good things in your life, a major one of which, I would suggest, is the love and support of your mother.
People who are grateful have higher levels of subjective well-being. And the very expression of gratitude tends to make you happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with your life and family relationships.
When you experience someone’s gratitude, this also brings its benefits. Relationships are consolidated when unspoken, but deeply felt, emotions are openly shared and acknowledged, making it easier to build up and enjoy mutual love, trust and loyalty.
We’ve only got one mother – and she’s irreplaceable. That’s why it’s so important that she knows just how much she means to you and how much you value her.
So, yes, do buy your mother that huge bunch of flowers and extravagant chocolates, but also make sure that you fully convey your love and gratitude to her.
It is this that’s going to be remembered long after the flowers have faded and the chocolates have been eaten.
This is my column published in the Western Daily Press on Wednesday , 26 March 2014. Read it here.