Thank Goodness for Gratitude
6 Simple Strategies for Finding the Good at Work
By Kylie Flynn
Looking for good and expressing gratitude is the easiest way to create more happiness in your life and even for those around you, as gratitude can be very contagious!
Being thankful is such a simple skill to learn and when practiced habitually can even be life changing especially in a work context.
There are so many wonderful experiences, people, sights, sounds and tastes that enrich our lives and give it substance, but all too often we get caught up in our lives instead of really living it and being present especially when we are at work.
There is no question that our work and our workplaces can be challenging and thanks to our ancestors, we as human beings are often primed to pay attention to the negative instead of the positive. So more often than not, it does take a conscious effort to be grateful for the myriad of amazing things happening right in front of our eyes.
Here are just some of the benefits of gratitude:
- Increases happiness
- Turns your attention to what you do have instead of what you don’t
- Strengthens the immune system
- Reduces stress
- Improves productivity
- Strengthens relationships
- Improves your mood
- Gives you energy
- Lessens our need to want more all the time
- It literally feels good!
So how do we cultivate gratitude? Here are 6 different ways you can practice being grateful. You may like to focus on one at a time or incorporate them all into you daily life. It’s up to you.
- Before you begin work each day, spend just 5 minutes listing 10 things you are grateful for. You can do this writing in an actual journal or simply use an electronic notepad on your computer. You can be grateful for the most mundane of things to something completely complex and unusual.
- Give at least one compliment or say thank you to someone every day at work. Thanking others spurs them to act in more compassionate ways to others as well.
- Ask someone to share your appreciation of something (“I love the way the barista makes my coffee at this cafe”).
- When you are in a bad situation, ask yourself, what can I learn from this experience. If I am able to look at this as an observer without the emotions what would I be grateful for?
- Make a conscious decision to stop complaining, criticizing, judging or gossiping about yourself or others. Try it for a day, then move on to a whole week and notice the amount of energy you are spending on negative thoughts and actions. It’s a tricky one!
- Have visual statements of gratitude around you to remind you where to focus your energy and thoughts. You can even create a gratitude wall at work where everyone can list what they are thankful for in a space that everyone can see (and feel!).