Feeling and acknowledging appreciation for the small stuff and the big stuff in our lives and at work is a great foundation for anyone who wants to create change. This practice of gratitude can open your mind and heart.It’s also a proven technique for reducing stress; recent brain science research like this study from Berkeley University explains how the practice of gratitude can improve your health.
I’ve learned about gratitude from many people over the years: professors at my graduate school who shared Positive Psychology research, my spiritual teachers, and Oprah, who has made lists of things she’s grateful for at the end of her day for decades.
In addition, as an organizational consultant, I learned about using gratitude as an evidence-based lens for changing companies from thought leaders like David Cooperrider (who pioneered a technique called Appreciative Inquiry developed from research he did at Case Western Reserve University with Suresh Srivastava). I often reflect on this simple yet powerful method as I help individuals shift and grow into careers that are more satisfying. During the often-stressful reality of change, it’s often easier to look at what’s going wrong instead of being grateful for what’s going right and/or the opportunities that transitions bring us.
As Bright Livelihoods coaches, we practice gratitude by appreciating ourselves, the work we do, co-workers and most importantly, our clients. In addition, we guide our clients to more peace of mind by encouraging them to slow down and look at what’s going well as they move through solving complex personal and professional problems.
Here are three ways you can plug into gratitude as medicine in your life, starting today:
- At the end of each work meeting, appreciate one person for their contributions in that meeting or at work. Use specific terms & details so that person can really know you’re being authentic.
- Teach your children about gratitude & learn from their input. Learn more in this Wall Street Journal article.
- Pause & look at something beautiful, you may pass often. Be grateful for the view. It might be a well-appointed room, a piece of art or something from nature. Thanks to the recent time change, I saw a magnificent sunrise when I sat down to write this blog.
Thank you, as always, for joining us on this journey. With gratitude,
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