As we head into Thanksgiving week, I want to take this opportunity to talk about something that’s really dear to my heart. And that’s the power of gratitude.
Gratitude is powerful in so many different ways. It’s strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. It helps people feel more positive, enjoy their life, improve their health, bounce back from adversity and build strong relationships, both personally and professionally. Gratitude is a way for people to truly appreciate what they have, instead of always reaching for something new. Gratitude helps people focus on what they have instead of focusing on what they lack. And, gratitude is a skill that grows, the more you use it. Just think about that! Gratitude also has a strong effect on others. Gratitude builds stronger relationships and increases the happiness of the recipient of the gratitude. So, not only are you helping yourself, you’re helping others too.
Research has also shown that as a leader, if you incorporate gratitude into your leadership style, you will see the productivity of your team rise. You will see better and better results, better and better growth.
So, how do you do this? How do you build gratitude into your daily routine? A great way to really do this is to actually thank somebody you know. Talk to them, send them a letter, whatever it might be, thank them for something. Be specific. Tell them how much you appreciate it. Be transparent. If that’s not possible for you, you can also thank somebody mentally within yourself. While this isn’t going to have the same impact on them as they’re not really receiving it, it will help you. When you thank somebody mentally, when you’re going through your list and saying ‘I’m really grateful for this person’, you will find yourself in a more grateful mindset.
And in a similar way, you can take the next step and keep a journal. Keep a gratitude journal listing each and every day that you’re grateful for. Again, be specific! The more specific you are about this, the better it’s going to make you feel, the better it’s going to help you and provide you these benefits.
Another great place for gratitude is prayer. Whoever you may believe in, pray to them, thank them, show the gratitude for what you have. Incorporate that into your daily routine.
Meditation can be a great place for this as well. It’s the same principle. Take the time, be mindful, be in the moment and just list out what you are grateful for. And, and as you do this, you’ll find yourself become stronger and stronger and stronger.
So, as we come into this Thanksgiving season, I challenge each of you to commit to demonstrating gratitude.