Practicing Gratitude

by Amy Vigliotti, Ph.D

Having a community of trusted colleagues gives me pause and brings me a sense of ease and tremendous appreciation. I have been feeling grateful for three talented psychologists who have joined me at SelfWorks. This is the season of thanks, and a little gratitude goes a long way.

Typically, though, the workplace is a magnet for negativity. There are the long hours, the office gossip or the deadline approaching that loom in our focus and leave us feeling ungrateful and unsatisfied.

The good news is we have the choice and the tools to override this negativity bias. Gratitude is the seed to growing positivity. We can choose to pay attention to the people, places and things that make life worthwhile, and as a result, foster gratitude and happiness.

Here are my suggestions for increasing your daily dose of gratitude at work and at home:

Start your day right.

Before you check your work email or rush into the shower, stop and think of three things you are grateful for. Be as creative as you can here. You can be grateful for a day of opportunity, your morning coffee, the train running on schedule, your morning energy….  Look for variety here – you can name anything that adds comfort, meaning, ease, joy or purpose to your life.

Expand your awareness

If you were grateful for your morning coffee, you might think about the workers who picked the beans and those who packaged the coffee. There are so many invisible helpers who add something meaningful to your life – see how many you can call to mind.

Reflect

You didn’t get to where you are without the help of friends, family, mentors, guides. Reflect on the people in your life who taught you important lessons, those who believe in you, encouraged you and those who you could depend on for motivation and guidance. To go the extra length, consider reaching out to someone with a letter or a call and thank them for the role they played in your well-being.

Wishing you an abundance of health and happiness this Fall!


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