Celebrations like Mother’s Day are more like reminders than holidays — gentle reminders that our gratitude shouldn’t be a one-day-a-year occurrence, but sewn into our everyday existence. So take inspiration from Mother’s Day this year and make a commitment in the coming days, weeks and months to incorporate thanks into all aspects of your life, including how you share your workplace gratitude.
The workplace, in fact, is the last place most people think to say “thanks,” according to a John Templeton Foundation survey released in 2013 and discussed in this Greater Good article. The majority of employees think of the workplace as a ghost town for gratitude: nobody’s feeling it and nobody’s doing it. And yet, everybody’s craving it.
Here are some quick ideas for jump-starting a practice of daily gratitude. It starts by paying attention to how you think and how you share the story of your life with others.
1. Keep a gratitude journal, a notebook for writing down five things you’re grateful for every day. Do it first thing in the morning to start off on a positive note, or at night before bed. Whenever you do it, writing down your gratitudes can help change your inner dialogue or narration. Instead of torturously replaying over and over in your head what a “train wreck” of a week you’re having, you’ll be focusing on remembering the five good things that happened.
2. And yes, there’s an app for that. There are many gratitude apps to choose from for your smartphone, including, for the iPhone, Happy Tapper’s Gratitude Journal and Gratitude 365, and for Android, Attitudes of Gratitude Journal and Secrets of Happiness.
3. If you want to make your gratitude journaling more of a longform practice, try out 750words.com, a website that collects your daily journal. It also tracks and analyzes your word count, typing speed and word usage, if you want to get technical about it. It’s free (donations only), easy and private.
4. Share your gratitude journal or note-taking with another person. Even if you want to keep some of your gratitude journal private, partner up to share one good thing per day. You could do this with your spouse, a friend, a coworker or with a group of coworkers. Gratitude is best shared, and it’ll help keep you accountable.
5. If sharing publicly is more your style, you could start a gratitude blog, as the 365 Days of Thank You blogger has done, or participate on social media in the #100HappyDays challenge. Encourage coworkers to join you.
However you choose to remember to be grateful every day, soon you’ll notice how this practice seeps into your daily interactions with people and how much easier it becomes to say “thank you.”
This Mother’s Day, whether you’re taking mom out for brunch, buying her flowers or just spending quality time together, listen to that voice in your head saying, “Hey, this feels good. Let’s do this more often!”
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