Research shows that people who cultivate gratitude get a boost in happiness and optimism, feel more connected to other people, are better-liked and have more friends, and are more likely to help others. They even sleep better and have fewer headaches (unless you’ve recently switched from your morning pot of coffee to a cup of green tea, but that’s a different blog).
So why is it difficult to cultivate a gratitude frame of mind? I was talking with someone this week who’s been frustrated with low team morale and he said he’s so tired of the constant complaining. Focusing on the positive and sharing appreciation takes effort. It’s not a “one and done” mindset. I might’ve shared with you that we practice gratitude with my 3 year old. Every night before she goes to bed I ask her for three things she’s thankful for. I used to hear the same 3 things but as time has gone on, I’m starting to hear some really interesting and thoughtful gratitudes.
It’s the same for us. If we want to experience the benefits of cultivating gratitude, we have to practice it every day. Look for the good work happening around you. Look for the smiles and meaningful interactions happening. Look for those gestures of kindess shown to each other. Don’t miss an opportunity to connect with co-workers and don’t miss an opportunity to express gratitude when you feel it.