During this season of holiday celebration, we will spend many hours thinking and planning the many gifts we are going to purchase and give our loved ones to make them happy. However, perhaps the greatest gift of all that we can give them and ourselves is…. Gratitude!
There’s no downside to gratitude, except that it’s easy to forget the many blessings we have.
Just like any cognitive skill that we want to develop, gratitude takes practice. When we truly practice gratitude it creates a virtuous circle. It generates a positive connection through contentment, joy, respect, appreciation and a high energy relationship to our world and the people in it. It’s the best recipe for happiness!
Gratitude is contagious. It makes us feel good. And when we share it, other people feel good too. And before you know it, you have created a “Feel Good Virus” that infects you, everyone in your world, and then everyone in their world.
Now if that sounds too absurdly optimistic (or you think I have been imbibing too much rum spiked egg nog), consider this: Free-flowing gratitude can help you get unstuck. ”Feeling good lubricates mental efficiency, making people better at understanding information and using decision rules in complex judgments, “writes psychologist Daniel Goleman in his book Primal Leadership, Translation: It makes us smarter.
The rub is, we can’t just hit-and-run with gratitude – you know, give a little get a little. Any feel-good spike we may achieve will quickly erode. But if we consider and express gratitude regularly, then we can maintain our good feelings. It’s a matter of creating the habit.
The following are 10 ways you can get started practicing gratitude… Today!
1. Write down the top 5 things you are grateful for in your life today.
2. Smile at a stranger.
3. Let someone cut in line at the store.
4. Write, not text or email, someone a Thank You note for something they have done for you…ever!
5. Compliment a co-worker on a positive action that they have taken.
6. When someone gossips about someone, pay a compliment to the person they are talking about.
7. Turn to someone you are with and tell them how much you love them.
8. Spread your energy by being enthusiastic about plans, projects, and events.
9. Offer to do a favor for a friend that is stressed out.
10. Think of a favor that someone once did for you and pay forward to someone else.
Executive & Business Coach & Consultant