In a recent LinkedIn post, we celebrated World Gratitude Day by offering ‘The Gift of 5 Minutes’ gratitude ‘sticky pad’ notes for our valued clients and LinkedIn connections. You can view the post here. I would like to expand on the thoughts shared in this post and hope you come to experience (or are already experiencing) the many rewards that flow from a daily practice of expressing gratitude.
There has been much research and many articles written on gratitude. Overwhelmingly, this material informs us that practicing gratitude greatly improves wellbeing.
Why aren’t more people practicing gratitude and why aren’t those already actioning that practice doing so more often? Well, maybe people around us in the workplace are doing this. The action of practicing gratitude is not always something tangible to be witnessed by others.
However practicing gratitude takes form as an outward expression of attitude. That outward expression of one’s attitude is evidential to those around us. The practice of gratitude involves making time to stop and give thanks or express appreciation.
To do this, one often needs to consciously pause and shift their mindset. This pause and shift in mindset shifts our vibrational energy and this can be noticed by those around us. The shift in mindset also causes a shift in our actions such that we are more likely to thank others or make time to demonstrate our appreciation to others.
The Flow On Effects of Gratitude
Just the act of pausing in a busy workday improves wellbeing. Expressing thanks creates an additional wellbeing effect. The ‘flow on’ effect contributes to the wellbeing of others. Practicing gratitude has a ‘no cost win’ effect for all with whom you interact.
If you are not in the habit of practicing gratitude but would like to be or you would like a simple reminder to pause and give thanks, we gift to you a set of ‘sticky pad’ notes that remind you to ‘gift yourself 5 minutes’ and invite you to gift a colleague 5 minutes of your undivided attention. Like anything new, a habit can be formed by repeating the practice and our ‘sticky pad’ reminders may just be a suitable tool to help you form this new habit.
Research shows those who have made practicing gratitude a habit, have higher levels of resilience. So while they are happy in the good times, they are also better equipped to successfully navigate the difficult times.
On a personal level, practicing gratitude has been found to be a contributing factor to:
- Lowering blood pressure and the risk of heart disease;
- Increasing the quality of sleep;
- Reducing depression and anxiety;
- Strengthening immunity;
- Minimising feelings of envy, resentment, regret and frustration;
- Building self-esteem; and
- Facilitating authentic connections.
When groups in the workplace practice gratitude, those in the group and those they interact with are more likely to have increased productivity, higher levels of engagement and see reduced levels of staff turnover.
Gratitude and Teams
As a leader, you can support an ‘attitude of gratitude’ within your team by:
- ‘Catching people doing good things’ and calling it out. Saying thank you, commenting on a task well done, expressing appreciation for effort or for helping a team member creates a ‘tone of gratitude’ in the team.
- Role modelling how to re-frame a negatively constructed point of reference. There is always a positive point of view to be found. Discussing an error, poor performance or display of inappropriate behaviour can be done constructively and placing emphasis on ‘moving forward’ creates a solution-focused positive action-orientated approach.
- Introducing simple wellness approaches like offering yoga classes, making a break out space for mindfulness/meditation, convening walking meetings or scheduling a meeting in a green, quite outdoor space, can encourage staff to take a few moments to focus back to the present and re-centre.
- Using a sheet from our ‘Gift of 5 minutes’ sticky note pad as a handwritten note to show appreciation of someone.
- Regularly gifting each team member 5 minutes of your undivided attention for no set reason.
- Setting an example of being mindful such that when starting to feel frustrated or tense you Pause, Breathe then Smile.
If you would like us to post you a ‘Gift of 5 Minutes’ sticky note pad, click here to email us your postal address. You can also access a pdf of the ‘Gift of 5 Minutes’ and other gratitude resources here.
At Workplace Harmony Solutions we would love to hear how your practice of gratitude and use of our ‘Gift of 5 Minutes’ sticky notes is positively affecting your work, your interactions with team members and your experience of the workplace culture.
Click he to offer your feedback/insights. We would be very grateful for you doing so. re