Turning to the dictionary to define encourage, I read several online definitions. Here is the one I found most concise, yet still covered a range of ideas:
encourage: [en-kur-ij, -kuhr-] verb (used with object), 1. to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence; 2. to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.; 3. to promote, advance, or foster; synonyms: hearten, urge, and support [encourage. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/encourage (accessed: September 16, 2015)].
Encouraging someone can be as simple cheering for them
Encouragement can be simply saying, “You can do it!” The power of words is great in our lives. To encourage another with your words is to help water the garden of their heart.
Encouragement extends beyond words
Yet, an element of aiding the person you are seeking to encourage exists as well. We can encourage with our words and with our actions. Sometimes helping someone else or providing them with the resources to do what they are doing well, is the best way to encourage.
Keeping this in mind I hope to not only provide ways to encourage your heart and soul, but also share with you some resources and tools that I have discovered that help encourage me. Maybe they will do the same for you.