The Power of Gratitude
Gratitude. Are you expressing it today? Are you sure? It’s not always easy to do. Life can throw us some unexpected curve balls and there are certainly times when it can be hard to feel any level of gratitude about the circumstances we find ourselves in. But usually, if you look hard enough you can find something to be grateful for in just about any event or circumstance.
Gratitude allows us to see and focus on the good. It is showing thanks and appreciation towards someone for something you received whether it was intangible or tangible.
Science has proven there are benefits to showing gratitude as well. The benefits of practicing gratitude positively impact you emotionally, mentally, physically, and socially. People who routinely express gratitude towards others are happier, less likely to be depressed, more resilient, more optimistic about the future, and have more positive social relationships, regardless of their current situation.
What’s great about gratitude, is that with some intentional effort, it’s nearly impossible not to find things to be grateful for. There are always positives around us, no matter how bleak or negative an existing situation may appear to be. If you are reading this, be grateful you know how to read, there are approximately 774,000,000 people in the world who can’t.
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.”Zig Ziglar
How to practice gratitude…. ideas to get you started
Daily gratitude statements: A personal favorite is simply identifying at least one thing you’re grateful for every day. Verbalize it, journal it, or do both. In a business meeting, you can have a lightning round where everyone gets a chance to share an example of gratitude. IE: Thank your team for learning how to facilitate a virtual meeting. With friends and family, go around the room or dinner table and get every person to say something they are thankful for or grateful for that day. Bonus points if you direct the gratitude message directly to others in the room!
Handwritten thank you notes: This one is becoming a lost art. But there is something about sending someone a handwritten note that personalizes your gratitude in a way that a text, email, or tweet never can match.
Positive Reviews: Write a positive review for a business that has provided you a great product or service. It does not have to be recent. This past week, a past Aspire client wrote a very appreciative and positive review on how much his business benefited from our engagement. It has been over 3 yrs. since we worked together – and his appreciation was meaningful.
Donate: The 3 T’s: Time, Talent, or Treasure. They are all important, they are all needed. Run an errand for someone homebound. We all have skills, share yours with others. And, there are always organizations needing financial contributions, give if you can.
Your next meal: Take a few minutes to think about everyone who contributed making your meal possible, the farmers, truckers, store employees, and who prepared it. Acknowledge there are many less fortunate, who are going without.
Random Acts of Kindness: Regardless of your company’s current environment, whether you work solo, remotely, or with others there are always opportunities for random acts of kindness. Need ideas? 100 Examples
What about you? Are you finding ways to express gratitude? Are you spending your energy focusing more on what you don’t have than what you have? If we truly spend our time being thankful and finding ways to express gratitude instead of focusing on any negatives that are currently affecting us, it is impossible not see brighter days ahead. Think of gratitude as a dose of some good news, you’ll always make someone feel better when you give it.
Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach