The Magic of Gratitude
For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know that I am an enthusiastic advocate for the practice of gratitude. No matter how bad things may seem, we can always find something to be grateful for. Once we recognize this, it can transform our day-to-day lives, our health, and even help us to live more sustainably. And there is no better place to apply this transformative magic than to the workplace.
Gratitude at Work
Let’s face it. Our work environments can be challenging even when we are surrounded by the most incredible people. Stress easily enters into the equation when deadlines and launches are looming or where a difficult life situation overlaps into the work culture. Everyone brings to the table their personal histories and habits. We’re all human after all! This Is why it’s especially important to approach our work situations with abundant gratitude. It immediately shifts our perspective so that we can see the bigger, brighter picture. I would like to share a story that brings this point home.
I was about to enter a zoom business meeting with a group of people who had been struggling with meeting timelines due to a variety of reasons. I knew that people were on edge going into this meeting and decided, instead of jumping into the meeting, to begin by asking each person to offer something they were grateful for.
One by one each of us stated our gratitude. The entire feel of the meeting instantly changed. Suddenly we were all human again, with empathy for each other and our unique life situations. The change was palpable, people were smiling, and the meeting went better than I could have hoped.
Such a small offering of gratitude had humanized each of us. Instead of blaming we had understanding, and we all pulled together to make the work happen.
This experience really made me realize the incredible power of gratitude to transform our entire lives — whether at work, our family life and relationships, how we relate to our communities. The list could go on and on. Gratitude can make the difference between simply surviving and truly thriving. The best part? It’s easy and free!
But the benefits of gratitude reach far beyond harmonizing work dynamics. It is also a powerful practice for our overall health and well-being, which in-turn benefits our work environments because we have more happiness, less depression and anxiety. Sick days are also minimized because gratitude boosts immunity and health.
If you feel as if you could use a little extra help, my Stress & Anxiety Tincture soothes the spirit and calms the mind so that we can see all the good surrounding us and those responsible for it.
The Difference Between Appreciation and Gratitude
While appreciation and gratitude may seem to be the same, they are actually different in scope. How so? Appreciation is where we acknowledge positive events, experiences or people. End of story. Whereas gratitude takes it a step further. It recognizes these same positive things in our life are because of forces that are beyond ourselves — such as the contributions of other people or the benevolence of God. Both are important in the workplace. However, for the purpose of this post, we’ll focus on gratitude.
Interestingly, psychologists Adam Grant and Francesca Gino found that the expression of gratitude at work has a spillover effect where people become more trusting of one another and more likely to help out. However, the benefits don’t end there. When researchers at UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center analyzed data from an interactive gratitude journal Thnx4.org, they found that the more gratitude people experienced, the better they felt. Those who stayed with the practice for at least two weeks had greater happiness, increased satisfaction with life, and more resilience to stress. The participants also reported fewer illnesses and headaches.
Are you ready to encourage more gratitude at the workplace? Have a look at, “Five Ways to Cultivate Gratitude at Work” for inspiration and tangible tools that you can start using today!