If you want to create a motivated workforce, using gratitude is powerful. Focusing on gratitude can also decrease stress, increase happiness and reduce illness. This is not woo-woo but science-backed information which has been well researched by Robert A. Emmons who you can read about here.
Now you understand how important gratitude in the workplace is, here are my top tips to create a motivated workforce using gratitude.
Lead from the Top
Like any effective business practice, gratitude must start from the top and the whole workforce should see it happening. They should see it in public and in private and it should be consistent and clear. Start building gratitude into key processes like recruitment and performance management. You can also make it a regular agenda item at team meetings and in training sessions.
Focus on people who rarely get thanked
Make sure you include everyone in the gratitude process. Notice those who work behind the scenes and are less customer facing. These are the people who are less likely to receive a dose of thanks from external sources.
Quality above Quantity
Don’t overdo it as people can become weary and stop engaging. Make all gratitude specific. The person you say thank you to and those who witness it need to know what they did well.
Express Gratitude in a Variety of Ways
Make sure you find out how to thank people in their preferred way. Some people want fanfare and fireworks whereas others prefer a quiet word next to the coffee machine.
You could try these ideas to build in gratitude:
· An office gratitude journal which can be paper, electronic or a notice board.
· A gratitude jar where everyone can post notes expressing thanks. This can be read out in meetings.
· Non- monetary gifts like doing a piece of work for someone, lending a car parking space or giving someone a day off
Use Gratitude When Times are Tough
Psychologist, Robert Emmons reports that gratitude increases resilience to stress and works like a ‘psychological immune system’. In a culture of gratitude it is easier to see beyond problems and re-frame losses into gains.
Try this set of questions created by Emmons to help the re-framing process:
• What lessons did the experience teach us?
• Can we find ways to be thankful for what happened to us now, even though we were not at the time it happened?
• What ability did the experience draw out of us that surprised us?
• Are there ways we have become a better workplace because of it?
• Has the experience removed an obstacle that before prevented us from feeling grateful?
Developing a gratitude culture in the workplace has scientific backing for its impact. It also does not take a huge amount of effort and is often free.
You could choose one of the above strategies and see what impact it has over time. Seeing the impact will help you include other gratitude practices in the workplace.
If you would like some help establishing gratitude at home or in the workplace, please get in touch. To find out more, contact Clare on 07747 774953.
In my blog,Increase Gratitude in 6 Ways to Feel Less Stressed, I mentioned keeping a gratitude journal. In this blog, I share my 9 top tips to make it work for you. This will give you easy ways to make keeping a gratitude journal a habit. This can have a huge impact on your ability to be more optimistic and feel less stressed and worried.
Choose Your Gratitude Journal Method
It might be that you like to write and feel more in flow when you pick up a pen and a nice notebook as your gratitude journal. If you prefer typing you might use a suitable APP or the notes APP on your computer. It doesn’t matter too much as there is not one right way to keep a gratitude journal. Just make sure it is something you are happy with.
Choose How to Record in Your Gratitude Journal
Once you have decided where to record, you can choose how to record. Some people write in sentences whilst others keep a bullet-pointed list. The key here is that the where and how should suit you. This is something you want to become a regular habit so make sure it is an enjoyable process for you.
Choose Your Time
Once you have decided your format, it is important to decide when you are going to record your gratitude. The evening is one time to write with gratitude as it provides a positive way to end the day. Sitting down last thing at night and reflecting on the wonders of your day makes you fall asleep feeling good. You may find that it has a positive effect on your sleep patterns too. You are also helping to train your subconscious mind to find more positive in your life.
You can also record gratitude in the morning so that you start the day filled with positive thoughts. Again, by focusing on the positive, you will find that your mind notices more positives as you go through the day.
Make it a Routine
Once you have chosen your time of day, the key now is to be consistent. As with any new routine, it can be hard at first to make it happen every day. Try to be consistent then you will find that after about month, you will miss it if you don’t do it.
When you are starting out, you can trick your mind into taking on the new routine. You can leave the journal on your pillow or where you know you are going to be last thing at night. You can also put a reminder in your phone or set an alarm. Push on through the first few weeks and soon it will be part of your normal daily routine.
Decide How Many Things to Record in Your Gratitude Journal
Set yourself a goal for how many things you are going to write about and stick to it. You can write in a bullet-pointed list, in sentences or in paragraphs, it is up to you. Make sure you are consistent as this is key in setting up a new routine. I write between about 5/6 things each day.
When I first started my gratitude journal, I was quite general in what I wrote about. I wrote about the things that I had all the time like my health and a roof over my head. It is good to be grateful for those things but remember, that the aim is to rewire your brain for gratitude. It is almost like you are tuning in your gratitude radar. When you have to look for new things every day, you become more alert throughout the day.
Say Why …
If you are writing your gratitude in sentences, try writing ‘because’ on the end of the sentence. Say ‘why’ you are grateful for that thing. An example of this might be: I am grateful that I found a parking space today because it meant I got to my meeting on time.
Focus on Things You Would Like to Improve
If you have an area of your life that you are working on try focusing your gratitude on that area. This could be a relationship, job, home or any area of your life. Try noticing and recording the good things about that area. Focus on what you appreciate rather than homing in on the things which you do not like. It is amazing how this can change how you feel about that relationship or area of your life.
Use Your Gratitude Journal to Raise Your Self-Esteem
We are often not very good at noticing the good qualities in ourselves. When growing up, we are not encouraged to praise ourselves for the fear of becoming ‘Big Headed’. But, the ability to see the good in ourselves raises our self-esteem and makes us nicer people to be around. People with high self-esteem tend to be successful in most aspects of their lives.
Your gratitude journal can be a vital tool to raise your self-esteem. Make at least one of your gratitudes about you and notice how this improves how you feel about yourself. For example, ‘I am grateful for my motivation today because I wrote a new blog and sorted all my email’
Get Started with Your Gratitude Journal and Feel More Positive
If you apply the advice in this blog you will be able to get started with recording gratitude. You will start to feel the benefits of noticing the world around you in a more positive way. If you are struggling with stress and tend to see the world in a negative way, I can help. Hypnotherapy can re-program your mind to be more positive. Then you can relate to the world with less stress and help raise your self-esteem.
In this blog, you can learn about the power of gratitude. You can also find out how to increase gratitude in 6 ways to feel less stressed.
Have you said ‘thank you’ today, or expressed gratitude for anything in your life?
“Well I’ve been very busy” you may reply. “I have got a lot on my mind, a lot going on …”
But … Have you had a moan today, complained or noticed something that is not right in your life?
If you have found time for one, why haven’t you found time for the other? It is because one is actually much easier than the other!
It’s our programming!
Human beings’ brains are hardwired to look for the negative in life. Our ancestors would not have survived if they were not wired to watch out for danger at every turn. Looking out for danger is part of our programming. This means that we are more inclined to see what is wrong with the world. In the past, our ancestors were alert for every sabre-tooth tiger around the next corner. In that way, they stayed safe and survived to produce the next generation.
Our programming is out of date
Now, there are no sabre-tooth tigers on our high streets but this way of thinking is still a part of our programming. This increases stress levels by causing us to focus on what might be wrong in our surroundings. It causes us to worry about the future and ruminate about what went wrong in the past.
You can rewire your mind by increasing gratitude
Increasing gratitude is a powerful antidote to this negative way of thinking. The more you notice to be grateful for, the more you will have to be grateful for. This is true! As you notice positive things and increase gratitude, your brain wiring will change. Your habitual thought patterns will become different. You will develop a more positive way of thinking. As this way of thinking increases, you will notice more things to be grateful for. You have to put some effort in to start but it soon becomes a natural way of thinking.
Here are my 6 ways to increase gratitude so you can feel less stressed
Start your day with gratitude
Wake up and make the first thought of your day grateful. Say thank you for your bed, your sleep, your breakfast and the roof over your head. Say thank you for being alive. Before you even get out of bed, say thank you for at least 10 things.
Stay grateful throughout the day
Notice green lights and parking spaces in busy places. Feel grateful for a smile from a stranger or good service where you ate your lunch. Try thinking ‘thank you’ for every experience to increase gratitude further.
Re-frame to find more gratitude
Notice things to be grateful for in situations which could be seen as negative. A rainy day in July is easy to moan about. Try feeling grateful for the access to water we have when some places do not. Notice the greenery around and realise that we need the rain to produce it.
If you are stuck in traffic, be grateful for the time to think, listen to the radio or enjoy an audiobook. You can do nothing about the traffic jam, it is outside your control. Re-focus on anything you can which feels positive and that you can be grateful for.
Put a reminder on your phone a few times a day. Stop and notice 5 things to be grateful for where ever you are. Over time you will notice that you get better at this process.
Take photographs of significant things. Make a board at home that you can look at any time or make a collage to use as your screen saver. You could even us an electronic photo frame to show your moments to be grateful for.
Get Grateful with Your Children
At the end of each day write things you are all grateful for on small pieces of paper. Store them in a jar or container you have decorated. Every so often get the slips out and read them.
Keep a gratitude journal.
At the end of each day record, 4/5 things you are grateful for that have happened in the last 24 hours. They don’t have to be big things. To make this even more powerful, try adding ‘because’ to each sentence, you write. This will increase grateful feelings by making you reflect on why you are grateful.
The Magic of Science When You Increase Gratitude
And the magic of this is scientific. The more you express gratitude, the more your brain will rewire to notice the things to be grateful for. It’s like you are creating a new habitual thinking path inside your brain. Over time, you will find gratitude easier and notice the effects it has on your life.
Choose one of the strategies above and give it a try today.
If you are struggling to increase gratitude because of your negative thinking, get in touch. Hypnotherapy can help!
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