Fresh off the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I strongly dislike the whole Thanksgiving gratitude thing. Going around the table and say what you are thankful? It just doesn’t do it for me.
Yes, of course I’m thankful for my awesome family. My wonderful friends. The great people I get to work with. I’m grateful for all of it.
But I’m grateful all year long.
I’m sure you are too. You’re grateful for the people in your life who love you, support you, encourage you and make you laugh.Family. Friends. Confidants. Mentors. Co-workers. Jerry Seinfeld. The woman who invented the Roomba. (Yes it was a woman. I verified with the google.)
OK your list might be just a tad bit different, but you undoubtedly have a long list of people that you are grateful for.But do THEY know they are on you list?
Consider this: unless you have actually expressed it to them, chances are that they don’t. For some of us expressing gratitude comes easy. For many though, it’s more of a challenge and can be downright uncomfortable.
Whether it comes naturally or not, we can all undoubtedly do more to show our gratitude every day.
Make the Effort to Benefit Another
A Wall Street Journal essay describes an experiment that induced gratitude in study participants by having them receive help from another person. Afterwards, they encountered someone that needed a hand. Those who received help themselves devoted significantly more time to helping others than did the non-grateful people.
The conclusion? Gratitude motivates us to pay it forward. Be grateful for your staff and see the ripple effects it will have towards their co-workers and the residents they support.
Make the Effort to Benefit You
There is a ton of research that illustrates how practicing gratitude can make a huge difference in your life. It’s the single best way to increase personal happiness, makes you healthier and even makes you exercise more!
At a time of year when it’s easy to overspend, keep in mind that materialistic people are less happy. They are less satisfied with their life and even endure higher levels of anxiety and depression. Being grateful helps you to see all that you already have and that you may not need that “must have” item on your list. (Except the Roomba. That’s a must have.)
Create the Ripple
Once you become accustomed to looking for things to be grateful for, you will find that the things you are thankful for grow exponentially.It’s sort of like going around the Thanksgiving table every day. Minus your eccentric aunt and the calories from the pumpkin pie.