Gratitude is a strong happiness booster. Positive Psychology research has found that being thankful and appreciative is one of the most powerful ways to move toward a more positive outlook and attitude. Gratitude is so powerful that happiness researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky refers to gratitude as a “metastrategy.” Simply put, practice gratitude for well-being. Double meaning here, be grateful for well-being and invoke gratitude to experience well-being.
If you’re feeling exhausted, angry with people and experiencing diminished sense of accomplishment, all signs of burnout, try using the 3Ws for a week. Ask yourself daily, What Went Well, today? Making a note of even 3 things that went well focuses you on a positive experience and can shift you, even momentarily at first, from grumbling to gratitude. What you notice may be as simple as the smile of a stranger to something as profound as the birth of a healthy new niece.
With patients, clients or colleagues, especially those that are challenging, it is helpful to think about something you appreciate about the person and/or the relationship. This can be difficult, you may have to think about something superficial like the person’s shoes or shirt. If you’re still stumped, what is a personal lesson you have been forced to learn; in this way, you invoke a growth mindset too. Thinking of something that you appreciate about another primes you to be more positive when interacting with the person. When appropriate, sharing what you appreciate also enhances the positivity between you.
When your sense of accomplishment is flagging, recall a time when you were at your best at work. A time when your involvement mattered to the outcome of a situation. This does not necessarily mean cure; it may mean that the people involved understood and were able to make choices more comfortably. Recall this situation, who were you with, what strengths were you calling on, what were you doing that made the difference for this person. You can name this event; then, it will be easier to call it up again. When you remember this situation you recall that what you do matters and has an impact.
One of the great things about November is there is a focus on gratitude. I try to focus on this everyday. There are so many aspects of my life for which I am grateful – family, food, friends, meaningful work, warmth in my home, health, a car that starts reliably … the list goes on.
What are you thankful for? How will you incorporate this into your Thanksgiving? Leave a comment. When you share we all benefit. Often when sharing 3Ws in a group setting, there is a shift in energy and spreading of smiles within the group. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to recognize some of the things you are grateful for, the small and the big. When you share these, you’ll spread positive energy to others too.
For more ways to engage with gratitude for well-being, contact me.
Revitalize Your Life,
Dina, 203.744.YOU3 (9683)
Improving well-being for professionals through coaching.
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