I've been re-learning the power of affirming and positive words this year.
There are tangible positive differences in my children's behaviour and growth whenever I cheer them on. Going out of my way to compliment and affirm my husband at every point that I see him do or say something good seems to make us both happier. And I'm even being nice to myself - every day I write a journal of positive things I have done and award myself points. (It's hubby's idea and I start to notice the difference in my state of mind when I miss a few days!)
It all came from a conscious decision this year to speak affirmingly and encouragingly but honestly whenever possible. After all, words are free. It doesn't cost me anything to say something good to someone else, and it may just be the fuel they need to continue on that day.
The wonderful thing I'm now starting to discover comes from an old biblical principle: you reap what you sow. In the last few months I've received many unsought, positive encouragements from others. It creates a beautiful circle: the more I am encouraged, the more I feel able to build up others, and it goes around and around.
Love these verses:
... but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:18-21
Not sure about the 'addressing one another in song' bit... people might not like to hear me sing to them all day, but the concept is of beautiful, joyful and encouraging speech which comes from being filled with the Spirit.
The best part is, the more I do it to benefit others, the more I benefit from it too!