Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and a logical time to pause and reflect on life’s blessings. It’s great to have the holiday, but gratitude is most effective when taken in regular doses. Have you ever noticed that feelings of gratitude can shift everything about your life experience? Research shows that gratitude fosters emotional well-being, relationships, and physical health. And best of all, having a spirit of gratitude can be developed. I believe that gratitude can become a habit, but that it needs some encouragement to take root. In other words you need to consciously direct your thoughts toward gratitude.
It’s easy to slip into negative thought patterns especially when overwhelmed. Take the time each day, even if only for 5 minutes, to become aware of people and things for which you are grateful. Tell the people around you that you are grateful for them and why. Especially your fully engaged high performers. Let them know you appreciate what they do for the department and organization.
Feeling grateful is important to our individual emotional health, but what we do with the gratitude when it applies to our staff can be culture-shifting. Gratitude feeds your ability to see the good around you, which helps you to seize opportunities to offer recognition. So this week, instead of just focusing on the festivities, spend some time thinking about how you can make gratitude a part of your daily practice and therefore a part of your culture. Happy Thanksgiving.