From Thanksgiving to New Years, many exist in a constant state of chaos. There are parties to plan, presents to buy, and family to visit. All the while, we have to meet the expectations of work. It is easy to lose sight of what we are grateful for. The stresses of this season make it an ideal time to practice gratitude, but the many benefits of expressing gratitude are year-round.
There is power in gratitude that we can all harness very easily to help us through the season. A focus on gratitude elicits positive feelings and a greater sense of satisfaction. That focus changes our outlook from perceived scarcity to feeling good about what we have. Not only does gratitude increase our well-being, research shows it also boosts energy, generates optimism, increases resilience, improves relationships, and even increases earnings.
Gratitude is about noticing and appreciating what is going right in our lives. By doing so, we have many more chances to feel joy in the moment. Gratitude does not suggest we ignore problems or lower our aspirations. Just the opposite – gratitude helps us feel good about ourselves and our lives as we pursue goals, and it provides the positive energy, optimism, and resilience we need to achieve them. Gratitude holds a great deal of power waiting to be harnessed.
Let’s take a look at 5 ways you can do just that.
Choose to be a grateful person
A grateful person is someone who sees everything in their lives, good and bad, as gifts. It is easy to see something good as a gift. Grateful people look at setbacks and adversity in their lives as gifts as well. From their perspective, setbacks or challenges bring with them some lesson they wouldn’t have otherwise learned, and they are grateful for that.
Write down each morning or evening what you’re grateful for
This takes just 5-10 minutes and is an extremely powerful exercise. From the perfect parking spot you found to everyone showing up to your meeting on time to your family, what are you grateful for today?
Make it a practice to say “thank you” throughout the day
Thank the person who makes your coffee. Thank the person who holds the door open for you. Thank the person who promptly gives you the information you needed. Thank the person who offered their support.
Gratitude comes from acknowledging the good fortune you’ve received. Sharing that with other has a positive impact on everyone involved. Remember how you feel when you do something good for someone else, with no strings attached
Express your gratitude to important people in your life
We often get so busy that we forget to tell people who much we appreciate them. Whether you’re grateful for a peer’s responsiveness at work or a friend’s support, tell them. The more specific you are, the more powerful the impact for both of you. This has an immediate impact on your emotional state and a long-term impact on your relationship.
Harnessing the power of gratitude doesn’t mean that your life is perfect or that you ignore problems; it is simply a means of impacting your energy level and emotional state for increased satisfaction and productivity. What are you grateful for?