The theme of this week’s newsletter is Gratitude.
Yesterday was American Thanksgiving and perhaps unsurprisingly, that has me thinking not only of ways to be thankful, but of how powerful gratitude can be.
A sincere and genuine thank you is such a powerful motivational tool. And it’s free!! Why is it used so sparingly?? I’ve been pondering this question for years.
Turns out, gratitude in the workplace isn’t common anywhere. As this article in the Harvard Business Review shows, “A recent survey of 2,000 Americans released earlier this year by the John Templeton Foundation found that people are less likely to feel or express gratitude at work than anyplace else.” Pretty sad when you think of it, given how much time we all spend at work! And most people rank their jobs as dead last when asked to list the things they are grateful for in their lives.
But gratitude is starting to make headlines. And scientists keep telling us how beneficial gratitude is, not only to the recipients of our thanks, but to us as well!
According to Psychology Today, there are 7 main scientifically-proven benefits to gratitude:
- Better relationships
- Improved physical health
- Improved psychological health – something we can all use a bit more of this year!!
- Enhanced empathy & reduced aggression (these seem like 2 big benefits to me!)
- Better sleep
- Improved self-esteem
- Increased mental strength
With a list like that, why wouldn’t you try out a gratitude practice?? After all, gratitude is neither time-consuming nor costly!!
For those of you who follow me on social media, you might have seen my recent Thursday Thought on Gratitude where I talk about my favourite tips for practicing gratitude.
Last year, I started writing a gratitude journal each evening before I go to bed. I write down the three things I am thankful for from the day. The fascinating thing is, most of the “things” I write aren’t actually “things” at all, but rather people, feelings, and experiences. And recognizing that has really opened my eyes even further to all I have to be grateful for.
Each evening I write three things I am grateful for that day. I write in this 5-year journal from Leuchtturm which means I also get to see what I was grateful for last year!
My other favourite gratitude practice is our family’s Gratitude Jars. Once a week, at Sunday dinner, each member of the family writes down what they were most grateful for that week. We read these aloud, and then put those slips of paper into our Gratitude Jars. Come January 1st, we will re-read each of the 52 slips of paper, reminding ourselves of just how many great things happened to us during the year, no matter what kind of year it was!
Virtually all my favourite podcasts had an episode on gratitude this week but these two were my favourites:
Lewis Howes’ The School of Greatness podcast did a short but impactful 5-minute episode on cultivating an attitude of gratitude, and Hidden Brain did a fascinating episode on gratitude and how it is a huge component of resilience.
I’ll be back next time with more book recommendations, podcasts to listen to, and interesting stuff to explore!!
I’d love to know what aspects of the newsletter you enjoy and would like to see more of! And as ever, if you enjoyed this, feel free to pass it on to someone else who might enjoy it too!