There are 46 days until 2022, nine days until Thanksgiving, and 39 days until Christmas. As we approach the holiday season, many of us have an array of emotions from excited and energized, to stressed, overwhelmed, and even burnt out. That is why I want to share this one skill which can really make a huge difference in your life and the lives of others around you. Practicing this skill for just a few minutes each day can boost your mood, improve your mindset, motivate you to exercise more, and help you flourish through the holiday season and beyond.
Why not consider this one activity as a daily practice? It takes little time, and the benefits are enormous. No, it isn’t another cardio class, nor is it a fad diet. And, nope, I’m not even talking about sleep, which I know I tout the benefits almost every post.
You can improve relationships, your career, your health, your emotions, and your outlook on life by practicing this one activity. Relationships become more connected. You can become more productive and achieve goals in your career you never thought possible. You will become kinder; your sleep will improve, and you will feel more energetic and exercise more! You will be happier.
This one practice is gratitude.
Positive psychology defines gratitude as a deeper appreciation for someone (or something) that produces longer lasting positivity. This appreciation absolutely extends to yourself. Some define it as a personality “trait”, others an action. Some simply define gratitude as a “state”. All are true.
Cultivating gratitude is a skill. Most scientists agree a three-month practice will result in the ability to self-generate slight feelings of gratitude and happiness on command. With more time and practice, the intensity and duration of the generated feelings increase.
Gratitude is an essential skill for those who wish to live a happy and fulfilled life. For this reason, I added it as a new topic for my 2022 Corporate Wellness programs and it has also become a large focus in the work I do with my Concierge clients.
In a study conducted at Berkeley, the researchers found that they could see the brain actually changed when subjects in their study practiced gratitude, and this simple skill also helped with the capacity to learn. Their subjects, interestingly, were students who were all utilizing the mental health center at Berkeley. They wanted to see if gratitude helped those who were struggling with mental health. They said “…we found that when people who are generally more grateful gave more money to a cause, they showed greater neural sensitivity in the medial prefrontal cortex, a brain area associated with learning and decision making.”
Practicing an “attitude of gratitude” doesn’t cost any money, nor does it take much time. Like so many new wellness-centric habits, it takes intention. You just have to start today. Below are 30 ways developing a gratitude practice can improve your health, strengthen your relationships, and ultimately lead to greater happiness. Start by simply thinking about one person, place, or thing for which you are grateful before you shut your eyes to sleep every night or before you set your feet on the floor in the morning. Like all wellness habits, they are more easily adopted when we associate them with a time and/or location.
- Increases your social capital. People will like you more!
- Helps us become more optimistic
- Helps develop our personality
- Reduces insecurity
- Reduces materialism
- Increases our self-esteem
- Decreases self-centered tendencies
- Helps us become more spiritual
- Increases our resilience
- Helps us have happier memories
- Helps us become less envious
- Generates more kindness and friendliness
- Helps us have more friendships
- Builds deeper relationships
- Helps create healthier marriages
- Improves networking capacity
- Helps with decision-making
- Helps achieve professional goals
- Makes us better managers and leaders
- Develops our compassion
- Brings empathy to the center of our thinking
- Improves sleep
- Reduces stress and helps us relax
- Increases immunity
- Motivates us to focus on our health and exercise
- Increases energy levels
- (Due to increase in optimism) promotes longevity
- Fosters hope for the future
- Decreases burnout
- Has lasting effects on the brain
Spending just a few minutes each day reflecting on what you are grateful for can make a huge difference in your life. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s never too late to start! If you are interested in developing a wellness program for you or your team, email me at email@example.com or visit our click here.