Expressing gratitude is one of the most powerful well-being practices. Invoking gratitude throughout the day has had a huge impact on my well-being and is one of my favorite tools. Gratitude Research has found that when we express gratitude we experience an uplift in our emotions and attitudes.
What do you appreciate right now?
Paying attention to the good around you makes life better and builds your resilience.
- Just asking “What am I grateful for right now?” leads to the release of more dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that are associated with elevating our mood.
- People who practice gratitude tend to sleep better.
- People who express gratitude have stronger relationships.
- Gratitude increases helping behavior. There is an overflow of helping, a sort of Pay it Forward effect.
- Gratitude is associated with hope and contentment. For those of who have concerns about not being or having enough, gratitude is a way to acknowledge that there is enough and we are enough.
Thanksgiving can become a jumping off point for you to engage in gratitude. Going around the table and sharing what each of you is grateful for may include the obvious and there may be some surprises.
Here are some ideas for what you can do to experience some of the benefits of one of the most powerful well-being practices.
- 3Ws – What Went Well in the last 24 hours? Daily, note down 3 things that went well and then a sentence or two of reflection. You’ll develop a positive focus and be able to take in what is going right, not just the challenges.
- Regularly write and send a thank you note. Who is contributing to your success at work? Who has shaped or supported you over the years? Who do you appreciate just for who the person is? This can be done by text or email as well as snail mail.
- Appreciate your experiences throughout the day – You can create special rituals like appreciating the view as you drive to work and making a comment aloud, or starting meals with your own thanks or using a grace or blessing, expressing sincere appreciation to a co-worker and a family member each day. Using your own words of gratitude will elevate your experience.
Gratitude is not a one and done event. In order to experience the ongoing benefits, you must sustain your expressions of gratitude. As you practice gratitude you will naturally integrate it into your life and begin to think about what you appreciate in the moment.
What’s your experience with the power of gratitude?
To get in touch with what you appreciate and regain your passion and energy, contact me.
Improving well-being for healthcare professionals through coaching.
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