Gratitude is a powerful tool for creating positive changes in our lives and work environments. 2022 has been a difficult time for many amid COVID and tech layoffs. It's hard to maintain an optimistic outlook when we're constantly faced with obstacles, but thankfulness allows us to look at things from different perspectives. Thanksgiving is coming up soon, and it's the perfect time to keep tabs on all the good things around you that will help bring out your inner glow while also making others happier. The rest of the year could be about supporting each other and shifting our narratives.
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Gratitude can help us shift our perspective on life and work. When we're thankful for even the smallest things, weathering the storms that may come our way can be easier. This doesn't mean you should be grateful for complex situations or problems but not let them consume you. Instead, think of what's working for you. This can be as simple as keeping track of what's happening in your life as you go about your day—whether it's a compliment from your boss, a sweet customer success story, or a fun interaction with co-workers. Taking the time to write it all down or simply saying "thank you" can help you get through tough situations by reminding yourself that there is much to feel grateful for, even through tough times. These low points are the best time to develop a grateful perspective.
When we show gratitude to others, it makes them feel good and motivates them to be more kind toward other people. When we act with kindness, even for a few moments, like holding the door open for someone or smiling at a stranger, it creates a ripple effect and spreads happiness throughout our workplaces and lives. This makes it much easier to attract friends, colleagues, mentors, and opportunities into your life, all because you made someone else feel good. You can create a new perspective for yourself and others by taking the time to notice small blessings in life. Unconditional love and kindness towards ourselves and others is the most powerful thing we can create.
Grateful people are likelier to put themselves out there for new opportunities. Taking the time to feel grateful can help you shift your mindset. Through your optimistic perspective, you'll be able to attract more opportunities and build long-lasting relationships with others. Gratitude can have a powerful impact on our lives and the world around us, reduce stress, and help us feel happier.
In his popular book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckart Tolle wrote: "Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life."
With gratitude as a driving force in your life, it becomes easier to embrace the present moment and enjoy the little things that are good around you. Attracting more opportunities and creating positive change has never been easy, but embracing gratitude as your secret weapon can help you get there.
There are many different ways to practice gratitude in everyday life. Everyone's different, so experiment with various tools until you find what works best. Here are a few ideas to get started.
I introduced journaling in last week's article on burnout, and it's an excellent tool for exercising gratitude too. Take some time each day to write, or reflect on, all the things you feel gratitude for. What are you thankful for this year?
It can be a healing process during difficult times. The goal isn't to forget everything that went wrong but to help you process negative emotions. Bring your energy to what's essential and deepen gratefulness by practicing it regularly.
You can also find resources online for prompted gratitude journaling. I hope you'll find journaling helpful!
If you're struggling to find gratitude in life, try helping others. Volunteering is a great way to focus on others and express love. Whether working with a local charity organization or helping a friend, you'll find joy in helping others through a hard time.
For example, I like volunteering at the SF Marin Foodbank and the Sanctuary Interim Housing. Getting physical and moving my body helps me reshape my thinking to get more optimistic. Find local opportunities for volunteering in your community, and hopefully, you'll find it a rewarding experience.
Even if you're feeling low, simple acts can help bring a little light into your day. Just by doing something for a stranger or a friend, you'll be lifting your mood and improving another person's day. The little things matter, so even if you can't do much, just doing something can be enough.
Start small, with a family member or a co-worker, and work your way up to strangers!
Gratitude is a powerful positive emotion that can help you feel better about yourself and the world through a tough time.
Research shows that lovingkindness meditation can be a powerful practice in cultivating gratitude and well-being. The power of lovingkindness is that by loving others and bringing love to your life, you can see the best in yourself and others.
You start by repeating phrases like “May I be well,” “May I be healthy,” “May I be at peace." Then, you extend the same messages to loved ones, then strangers. This type of meditation can help you open your heart and connect with others. I practice this when I feel stress or anger creeping up on me. You can eventually build up to wishing for world peace or happiness for those who brought you pain.
Gratitude is the ability to see and celebrate the small, beautiful moments. It's easy to get caught up in the week-to-week routines and deadlines, but taking time to notice all the little things can help you stay grounded. A deep sense of gratitude can help you find joy even in the most mundane tasks. Think of a person or a moment that brought you joy and notice how it makes you feel.
Show that you're grateful for someone's help or kindness by sending a quick thank-you message this Thanksgiving. Don't overthink it—a simple "thank you" does the trick. Send emails, texts, or postcards to express your appreciation for the little things that made a difference in your life.
Practicing gratitude isn't always easy, but it's well worth it.
Feeling grateful is a powerful way to improve your well-being and connect with others. There are many ways to cultivate gratitude.
If you’re interested in more lessons on Gratitude, follow Exaltitude on LinkedIn for upcoming Career Conversation workshops.