Being grateful in life is very ‘now’, riding the popularity of the positive psychology movement it’s almost as popular as a skinny macchiatos and box sets! It also has its own Day – Thursday 21st September is World Gratitude Day and in preparation for tomorrow, lets explore how being grateful can help your career.
Retrain your brain
If you can think more positively you will feel better about your career and also feel more confident about gaining new skills or taking on more responsibility. The difficulty is we are naturally programmed to look for danger which means we are subconsciously scanning for negative experiences and possible risk – it’s why we always remember the one negative comment among five positive comments. However, if we can focus on the good things that have happened and be grateful for them it can turn a bad day into an OK day. And if we keep doing that we can retrain our brain to focus more on the good and less on the bad consistently.
Beat the doom and gloom
Brexit, Trump and terror attacks – if we listen to the news every day it can leave us feeling down about our future, both in work and life, and what may happen. We need to have some way to counter the 24 hour news culture and being grateful is a good technique to develop a more positive mindset at work and at home.
How can you embrace gratefulness?
Celebrate the joy of being connected
Much of our interaction in life and work is now online so rather than feel overwhelmed by it, embrace it and be thankful for how it enables you to be connected in so many ways. Who can you thank online? Who can show reciprocity to or thank someone for commenting on your post or connecting with you?
Choose to say thanks
Being grateful costs nothing but often in our frenetic time pressured lives we forget to say thanks to people around us. What a difference a smile and a thank you can make to people around us. When was the last time you said thanks to the bus driver, the person who makes your latte in the morning, a co-worker or your boss? And I mean really said thanks – looked them in the eye and said it meaningfully? Its something we could all be better at but by making the effort we help ourselves to feel good and also make someone else appreciated in their job.
Give yourself some love
Self-care is a really important part of developing resilience and being happy at work. This doesn’t just mean setting boundaries but also being positive about yourself. If you find yourself beating yourself up for how you dealt with a particular situation at work, and focusing on what you think you did wrong, STOP, and give yourself a break. Reframe it and instead be grateful for the opportunity to reflect and learn from what happened, and then in that reflection notice what you that was good as well as what you could improve.
Have a Gratitude Makeover
Gratitude doesn’t only need to happen on Thursday, you can make it a daily practice. Positive psychology research shows it really works and can make a long term difference to your well being. So grab a gratitude journal or start a gratitude jar and start noticing all the wonderful things you have to be grateful for, and how you can show gratitude in the world too.
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” (Zig Ziglar)
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and click here for more ideas on how to feel good about your career.