7 Top Tips to Make Gratitude Part of Daily Life

May 31, 2020
 

I have been hearing from friends and clients lately that it is difficult to keep boredom, negativity and lack of motivation at bay as this lockdown continues to drag on. Do you feel this way?

There does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel as talk circulates about hotels, restaurants and foreign travel once again being a part of our lives. While the hope of these activities can bring some relief, I would challenge you that there is a more proactive action you can take today to lift your spirits that is grounded in acknowledging the upside of the present.

Can you guess what I’m talking about? Gratitude.

Gratitude is a word that is thrown around a lot. But what does it really mean?

 

What is Gratitude?

We are often told to be grateful, but it can sometimes seem that gratitude is more an obligation than a benefit; just another item on our already overburdened to-do list. We may end up feeling resentful when we are expected to feel grateful particularly under difficult circumstances like the ones we all face today.

It really doesn’t need to be like this!

The important thing about gratitude is that it connects us with other people, life, and depending on our belief system, a higher power. We might feel it when the person in front of us in line spontaneously lets us go first, or when a friend checks in on us unexpectedly during a hard time.

In his book “Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier,” Professors Robert Emmons says:

“First, gratitude is the acknowledgment of goodness in one’s life. In gratitude, we say yes to life. We affirm that all things taken together, life is good and has elements that make it worth living. Second, gratitude is recognizing that the source(s) of this goodness lie at least partially outside the self. The object of gratitude is other-directed… This is one significant way in which gratitude differs from other emotional dispositions.”

In other words, gratitude is a process of seeing and acknowledging what we already have, amidst the chaos of our schedules, which helps us feel connected to other people and to life.

You might have heard of the benefits of practicing gratitude like experiencing more positive emotions, feeling more alive, sleeping better, expressing more compassion and kindness, and even having stronger immune systems. But did you know that gratitude has also been proven to improve productivity?

Yes, you heard me right. You can actually increase productivity with gratitude. Why? From a scientific perspective, giving and receiving thanks increases the release of dopamine which raises your energy. Dopamine is also linked with the brain's complex system of motivation and reward. I ask you - who doesn't feel more productive and content when higher levels of motivation and reward are involved?

In a long-term research project on the nature of gratitude, the same Professor Robert Emmons mentioned above made some amazing discoveries:

"Participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based) over a two-month period compared to subjects in the other experimental conditions." Professor Emmons continues to conclude that keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks can result in better sleep and more energy.

 

To get your FREE gratitude worksheet so you that you can start keeping a journal and seeing results today, just click here.

 

How Gratitude Helps Us Live Productive Lives

In addition to these proven scientific benefits, gratitude has some hidden benefits that can improve your productivity and your life. When you regularly practice gratitude

  • You can give your all to anything you do and trust in the best possible outcome whatever that is. When you feel happy to just be able to participate, you can give your all and generally do better work as a result.
  • You are free to create since you are aligned with the positive. This means that even mistakes are positive since they help you get closer to creating something better. As my daughter was taught in school, “mistakes are our friends.”
  • You can have a positive attitude toward your choices by accepting what matters in the present without rejecting what may work at another time.
  • You can be more process oriented which raises the quality of your work. When you do not spend your time forcing outcomes or fighting other people, then you are more focused on the process and the details involved resulting in you doing better work.
  • You do not need to do things based on discipline because becoming more naturally aligned with positivity enables you to be more comfortable with yourself and your actions and less likely to have regrets.

 

7 Top Tips to Make Gratitude Part of Daily Life

Sounds great right? So how do you incorporate gratitude into daily life? Here are my top 7 tips to making gratitude a part of daily life.

 

  1. Keep a simple gratitude journal.Every day write 10 brief things about what occurred in that day that you are grateful for. It can be big things like making a big sale at work, getting a promotion or hitting a major goal or simple things like a fun conversation with a friend or the fact that your 3 year old made it through the night without an accident! As you write about your experiences step into the gratitude feeling, think about how good it makes you feel and really experience it in your heart. 
  2. Thank you Part 1: Every act of gratitude counts, and it can be as small as saying thank you or telling someone important how much they mean to you. For example, while mornings can be a hectic time before heading out of the house, make it a point to tell your partner how much you care about them. Another idea is to acknowledge a colleague for their professional contributions with a genuine heartfelt thank you.
  3. Thank you Part 2: Add a simple sentence to the words "thank you"when you thank the people you encounter during the day. At the grocery checkout counter, instead of mumbling the expected thanks to the cashier, try something like "This job must get difficult at times, thanks for hanging in there." This will feel good for you and certainly for the cashier who probably hears little in the way of acknowledgment. 
  4. Lead by example and introduce the concept of gratitude to young people around you. Try this at your next meal where kids are present: go around the table and say something that each person is thankful for. We do this in my family at Thanksgiving, but there is no reason you can’t do it because it’s Tuesday.
  5. When you're at a stoplight, look around for something that brings a little joy to your heart. A flower bed of beautiful blooms, the sun setting on the horizon or the mere fact that you are out of the house, are examples of things that can raise your internal energy, mood and spirit if you take the time to express and feel your gratitude. 
  6. Send a card or small gift to someone, just "because."You can send a friend a card to say that you appreciate them and put in beautiful stickers, tea bags, sticky notes or other unexpected trinkets. Wouldn’t that bring a lift to someone’s day?
  7. Tell a client why you enjoy working with them as much as you do.Point out their unique qualities and express sincere thanks for the fact that you have this great working relationship. "Sincere" is the magic word here!

 

So what do you think? Are you ready to incorporate gratitude into your daily life? You can start by picking one or two of the suggestions above and see for yourself how adapting an attitude of gratitude can really fuel your productivity!

 

To help you make a start, I have created this simple FREE Gratitude List Worksheet that you can fill out every night. Just jot down 10 things that you are grateful for at the end of every day before you go to sleep and I am sure you will feel differently afterwards. It also has my 7 Top Tips to Make Gratitude Part of daily Life so that you can keep refer to them easily.

So click here to get my FREE Gratitude Worksheet and let me know how you experience the benefits of gratitude below or in my Facebook group here.

 

Committed to your success,

 

Marina x

Want to know more about getting your POWER back? 

I want you to know that Transformation is possible. Progress is possible. I’ve implemented these steps in my own life and coached my clients through the process

 

Maybe now really is your time to make a change? Maybe this is that moment for you. If so, then I would like to invite you to book a FREE Kickstart Your Power Session, where we get on a call for 60 minutes and identify what obstacles are stopping you from reaching your goals and work out a plan for overcoming them.

 

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