At work yesterday a colleague bought 19 members of our team a full size Easter egg. She crept in early and left one on each of our desks for a delicious surprise.
The majority of us were overwhelmed by her kindness and ran straight to show our appreciation, but a select few said or did nothing. I watched in amazement as they simply glanced at the egg (as if it was expected!) and carried on with their morning routine. Zero appreciation, zero thanks.
Shocked by their lack of gratitude, I decided to dedicate this post to them and the benefits of deliberately cultivating gratitude.
It’s a no brainer that gratitude helps reduce negative emotions. By focusing on all that is right (instead of all that is wrong), we can learn to fully appreciate how lucky we are and start to notice the small things we so easily take for granted. A warm and cosy home, a stable job, a hug at the end of a stressful day, good health!
Practising gratitude can also help us be more resilient in the face of adversity. So when upsetting things do happen, we’ve refined a significant coping strategy – an appreciation for what is good and right, even amongst the suffering, we can encourage ourselves to look on the bright side and find the positive.
Gratitude can give life more meaning and a deeper understanding of the homogeny of humanity. It can also significantly improve our relationships, because who doesn’t love feeling appreciated?!
Tips for being more Grateful!
- Remember to show your appreciation at work and at home, no matter how small an offering or gesture, be mindful and say thank you – really feel it in your heart (like if your thoughtful colleague buys you an Easter egg!)
- Write down 3 things you’re grateful for at the start or end of each day. This is a popular positive psychology intervention and results have proved it improves both happiness and gratitude levels. Some days it might be harder than others, but you can always find them, no matter how small or how long it might take
- Find time to give back. Perhaps volunteering with a local charity or babysitting for a friend, covering for a work colleague or giving your partner a foot massage. Giving feels great and the more we give, the bigger our hearts become