Create a Motivated Workforce Using Gratitude

Create a Motivated Workforce Using Gratitude

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.

Increase Gratitude in 6 Ways to Feel Less Stressed

Increase Gratitude in 6 Ways to Feel Less Stressed

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.

Use technology

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.

Capture Moments

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!

Check out my Facebook page for more about gratitude

How to create good habits so you can feel less stressed

How to create good habits so you can feel less stressed

Do you know that habits are the key to happiness? Do you know how to create good habits can make you feel less stressed? Are you aware how much of your behaviour is habitual and how much impact it has on your life? In this blog, I will show you how to create good habits so you can feel less stressed.

I am sure you are aware of how important habits can be in maintaining your health. Smoking, drinking alcohol and eating takeaways are obvious ones to avoid. Whereas brushing our teeth and taking a shower are best retained. I am sure you have tried to add a new healthy habit to your life at some point. Hands up who has joined a gym in January and seem to have forgotten the way there by February.

How often have you tried and failed to install a new healthy habit or get rid of an unhealthy one? How often have you failed? How much stress has this created in your life? The continual battle of whether to carry out your new, healthy habit or not can be exhausting.

So why do we spend so much time trying to change our habits?

 Habits are the best way to establish long-term change because they are automatic. This means that once you establish a habit like brushing your teeth, you no longer need to think about it. This frees you from becoming a victim of willpower and motivation (or lack of them). It also protects you from falling back into old ways. When tired or stressed, you revert to your habits which is why it is important to have as many good ones as possible. The other thing about good habits is that they free up your mind. This means you can think, create, problem solve and tackle all that stuff that pops up in an average day in your life.

Your habits also make you who you are. If you have habits to overcome procrastination, you will become an organised person. If you have habits which get you being active, you will become a fit person. If your habits mean that you eat good, nutritious food, you will be a healthy person. When Aristotle said, ‘We are what we repeatedly do.’ he was right.

It’s easy to see how having the right habits can make you feel less stressed.

 A great example of this came up for me recently. I was ill for a few days but I still mediated every day. Then as soon as the worst was over, I got my workout gear on and did some yoga. Both habits I did on a lesser scale than normal, but I still did them.

I am not saying I am tough or strong to keep doing these things, it is that now, these things are who I am! To not do them would be so much stranger than doing them. As I already said, once you establish a habit it becomes part of your hard-wiring and it becomes what you do. You will all have habits you can relate to like this. Ones like brushing your teeth for example. The sort of habit where you know would not feel right if you didn’t do it.

Is there a healthy habit you have been trying to establish for a while? Are you finding it hard? Do you realise that you have healthy habits like brushing your teeth but have no idea how they got there?

Are you ready to find out how to create good habits so you can feel less stressed?

So, how do we establish a new habit?

 Start very small

Have you ever tried to make a big change like going to the gym several times per week? Have you ever failed to make such a big change? Let me tell you why.

Big changes are too much for our minds to accept. Your mind has a blueprint of who you are. It has a set of rules it likes to apply to what it does and does not think you can do. If you make a change way outside this blueprint, your mind rebels and stops you in your tracks. Your mind thinks you are trying to change your personality overnight. It wants to protect the status quo and gets in your way. Some people call this self-sabotage and it affects many of the clients I see in one way or another.

To overcome this you need to start small. You need to sneak in on your belief system under cover of darkness, completely undetected.

How small is small?

 Let’s continue with the concept of exercise. Imagine your mind thinks you are a lazy layabout who doesn’t exercise. To change towards a belief that you are a person who exercises you could start by putting on your workout gear on. If you do this at the time you plan to exercise, you will start to create a new trigger inside your mind.

In his book, ‘Mini Habits’, Steven Guise committed to one press-up each day. On each occasion, he did more but his commitment was only ever one press-up. When you have made your first step you will notice an urge to do some exercise but still stay small.

One sit-up will sneak past the guards in your mind, but if you tell yourself you are going for a 2-mile run, it might be too much. You can play about with this – setting your very small habit goal each day until that feels comfortable. What you will notice over time, is that you consistently do more than your very small habit. But never change the small goal as that will be your fall-back habit when the going gets tough.

Change the beliefs you have about yourself!

 The key here is to overcome the self-sabotaging blocks you have to exercise. The aim is to change who your mind thinks you are. Once you establish a small habit, your mind stops believing that you are that lazy layabout. Then you reduce the resistance to exercise. The key to this is not the exercise itself but changing the belief and establishing a new habit.

By starting small, you can begin to change who you think you are. Then you can establish a whole set of new habits which can help you feel less stressed.

Ready to create good habits so you can feel less stressed, get in touch with me now and let me help you.

10 Top Tips to Sleep Better so You Can Feel Less Stressed

10 Top Tips to Sleep Better so You Can Feel Less Stressed

In this blog I will share my 10 top tips to sleep better so you can feel less stressed. This is an edit of a previous blog about the connection between sleep and weight. This shows how sleep can impact on more than one aspect of life. But stress and weight are only two aspects lack of sleep effects. 

Lack of sleep can contribute to issues like depression, anxiety, diabetes, heart disease and many more. Having a long-term sleep issue is also said to take 10 years off your life.  

I am sure I do not need to point out the link between stress and lack of sleep. They feed each other in a way that can make life difficult. If you haven’t had enough sleep you know how that feels. You are cranky, cannot concentrate and your memory feels foggy.

This might mean that you don’t have the best of days. Your stress levels then increase, you cannot sleep and the cycle continues.  If you are ready to break this cycle you need these ….

10 top tips to sleep better so you can feel less stressed.

Power Down

Switch off all tech, including the TV at least one hour before bed. The light from the screens prevents your body creating melatonin, the sleep hormone. Even if you do drop off with your phone in your hand the quality of your sleep will be poor. 

Avoiding Napping

If you must nap, limit it to 30 minutes before 2pm. Napping disrupts your sleep pattern and reduces your ability to sleep at night. If your energy slumps try fresh air or a walk to pick you up. 

Stop Clock Watching

If you wake in the night, stay away from the clock. If you keep saying, ‘I wake up at 3am every day’, that is exactly what will happen. 

Get Comfortable

If you want to sleep well start by making sure your mattress is comfortable and have a cool room with warm bedding. Use pillows to support your limbs, if needed and get your neck in neutral with no more than one pillow.

Save bed for two things only

Your bed is for sleeping and time with your partner! Anything else you do in bed gives your brain the message that bed is for things other than sleeping and love making. 

Establish a Routine

Try to go to bed and get up at a similar time each day (even at weekends). Your body will get into a flow with the routine and you will find yourself sleeping better. 

Watch Out for Caffeine

Have your last caffeinated drink no later than 1pm so the caffeine can leave your body before you need to sleep. Watch out for caffeine hidden in things such as chocolate and painkillers. 

Exercise at the Right Time

Exercise is great for sleep as it helps to tire out your body. Do not exercise too close to bedtime as this can disrupt your sleep and make you too awake to nod off. 

Watch What You Eat and Drink

Do not eat too late in the evening and avoid late evening heavy meals. If your digestive system is working hard it will disrupt your ability to sleep.

Get into the Light at the Right Times

Exposing yourself to daylight early on in the day helps your brain realise that it is morning and time to be awake. In a similar way, getting into the dark helps your brain know it is night and time to sleep. 

I hope you have found my 10 Top Tips to Sleep Better so You Can Feel Less Stressed, useful. As with any habit change, don’t try to change everything at once. Choose one or two things to work on first and then introduce the others one-by-one.  If you are struggling to get enough sleep, feeling stressed or would like to make a change in any other aspect of your life, please get in touch.

8 Top Tips to Learn Self-Love to Feel Less Stressed

8 Top Tips to Learn Self-Love to Feel Less Stressed

Why learn self-love to feel less stressed you may be wondering! How can self-love help you feel less stressed? The main reason that a lack of self-love contributes to stress is that it reduces what you think you are cable of. If you spend all day berating yourself, you will believe that you are not very good. This will make you push yourself too hard to prove your worth to the world and yourself. It will also increase feelings of overwhelm and make you give up more often.

Low self-love will also affect how you look after yourself. If you don’t love something, you don’t tend to look after it very well. If you are not taking time out for self-care, this can have a massive impact on your stress levels too.

Think, for a moment, about something or someone that you love.

Your children, your partner, your dog or even your car. How do you treat that thing or person? I would imagine that you treat them with respect and kindness. You do things to help them be healthy, happy or even to work well. I sure, you would not put the wrong fuel in your car. Because you want it to work , you make sure you look after it. You care enough about it to do that.

As you can see, there is a strong link between self-care and self-love. One is unlikely to happen without the other. Without good self-care, we are much more likely to become stressed. We are more likely to expect too much of ourselves, not take time out and not do things to look after our bodies and minds.

So, how can we learn self-love to feel less stressed?

Here are  my top tips to learn self-love and feel less stressed.

Tip 1 – Be nice to yourself

Your mind believes that inner voice so the more you say negative things, the more you will believe them. Make an effort to be kind to yourself and, if you do slip up, try to challenge any negative thoughts. A good rule of thumb is to speak to yourself in the same way that you’d speak to your best friend. You are with you all the time, so it is more important how you speak to yourself than how anyone else does. Notice, challenge and change your self-talk!

Tip 2 – Stay Focused on You

Comparing yourself to others is a sure-fire way to lower your self-love. You are a unique person on a unique journey. You are not like anyone else in the world. Notice and praise every step you take in the right direction and leave thoughts of others behind.

Tip 3 – Realise that no-one is perfect

It is okay to make mistakes! We all make them, but it is very easy to end up being critical of ourselves even for the slightest error. We are more critical of ourselves than we ever would be to someone else. Our mind can hear every word we say and will use negative words to create or reinforce a negative belief.

We all make mistakes. Be kind to yourself, accept your mistakes, learn and move on.

Tip 4 – Focus on what you can change

We spend a lot of time and energy focusing on the things in life that we cannot change. Whether it’s moaning about the weather or complaining about queues of traffic. Thinking about these things which are outside your circle of control is a waste of time. It also makes us feel weak and out of control. This can contribute to negative feelings about ourselves. Take a look at each situation and decide what you can do about it. Take any action you can then let go and move on.

Tip 5 – Do something which makes you happy every day

By doing something for yourself every day, you are sending the message to your brain that you matter. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but something that is only for you. It could be a massage or a laze in the bath with some candles. The more you do for yourself, the more you are showing that you care about and, dare I say it, love yourself.

Tip 6 – Celebrate Small Stuff

Most of us are much more likely to berate than praise ourselves. Have you ever got to the end of a working day to find yourself focusing on the 2 things you didn’t tick off your to-do list? You have completely missed praising yourself for the 8 you did tick off.

How different would the day feel if you celebrated every little win you had? From getting the kids off to school on time to finishing that big project. Try keeping a journal where you make a note of all your successes. Look back on this record often to lift your mood and help you feel more self-love.

Tip 7 – Help others

Studies have shown that when we do something good for someone else, it boosts our mood. Helping others fulfils a deep human need that most of us have. We get a boost from the positive feedback we get from the person we helped. But studies show that even anonymous acts of kindness can make us feel good. Try to do one thing every day for someone else and notice how that makes you feel.

Tip 8 – Choose positive friends

Some people suck the life out of us on a daily basis. Nothing is right in their lives or the world in general. It can be exhausting to spend any length of time around them. It can also become all too easy to join in their moaning and get dragged into their world. If you have some people in your life who fit that description avoid them in person and on social media. If you have to see them try some relaxation techniques like deep breathing beforehand. Then avoid moaning about their moaning afterwards.

I hope you have found these tips to learn self-love to feel less stressed useful.

You matter and are worthy of love. Please don’t forget that.

If you don’t love yourself or your self-esteem has hit rock bottom, I can help. Please get in touch to find out more.

Stop Procrastinating So You Can Feel Less Stressed

Stop Procrastinating So You Can Feel Less Stressed

Do you procrastinate? Or as one dictionary definition stated, do you ‘delay or postpone action or put things off?’.

Did you know that procrastination increases your stress levels? In this blog, I share the causes of procrastinating. I also share my top tips to help you stop procrastinating so you can feel less stressed. If you want to stop procrastinating so you can feel less stressed, start by working out which of these affects you. Then try the tip to overcome your procrastinating.

1. You avoid the big jobs

When given a choice between a big or a small task, we will often choose the latter. Completing small tasks gives us a quick hit of dopamine from the success we experience. A big task can feel like a tunnel with no light at the end. This makes us more likely to avoid starting because we cannot see the end.

Top Tip

To overcome this habit, break down a big task into bite size chunks and celebrate each step of success. Get clear about what each step of success will look like so you know when you have reached it.

2. You don’t start tasks which need something from someone else

If a task needs communication or action from someone else it can feel harder to start. We will put it to one side to avoid failure because of someone else not doing their part of the task.

Top Tip

Clearly communicate the deadline to the other person. Make sure you can continue with other important tasks while you are waiting. Use praise to encourage the other participant and keep them on track. If someone keeps getting in the way of you completing your tasks, you might consider finding another person to work with.

3. You avoid complicated tasks

For some tasks, the solution is not immediately clear and requires some investigation. It is all too easy to avoid that task to avoid failure. The inner, critical voice might say ‘what if I cannot handle this or don’t have the knowledge or ability to solve it?’

Top Tip

Break down the task as in point 1 but also do not be afraid to ask for help. There are people out there with a lot more knowledge than you.

4. You get distracted

We have all done it! We have all picked up our phone to add something to our diaries. We have all put that phone down 15 minutes later having no idea what we did in the meantime.  The draw of social media, email and other alerts on our phone can be too much for many of us. Every time we read a message, we get an addictive little hit of dopamine which can become very hard to resist.

Top Tip

Leave your phone outside your office and only picking it up when you have a list of tasks to do on it. Also, switch off all the alerts other than those you view as emergency means of contact e.g. texts. Treat email like a letter and have an ‘out of office’ which tells people that you will only check email once or twice a day.

5. You believe you work better with a short deadline

I have so many clients who have said this to me in the past. But it isn’t true. When we do things last minute we are more likely to make mistakes, forget important things and even run out of time. People who procrastinate believe this because when the deadline is near they suddenly take massive action. As a result, they develop the idea that they are better with a short deadline. 

Top Tip

Remind yourself that taking time over a task and planning actions produces better results. It allows time for reflection, review and editing before the deadline. Think about what your future self would say about the pressure you have created. Your future self would say, ‘get started now!’

6. You cannot get started

Some people procrastinate part way through a task. Some people cannot get started at all. Not being able to get started at all, gets in the way of everything and leads to a feeling you are failing before you even get started. 

Top Tip

If you want to get cracking with something right now, try this technique from The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. When you have a thought to do something, count 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 and do it! This method does not allow your procrastinating mind a chance to argue. You will have started a task (and finished it) before the procrastinating part of you has even got out of bed!

Stop kidding yourself!

As I complete this blog, I know I will want to go back over it again and again and even get someone else to review it too. I feel good knowing I have left myself enough time to do that. It means I am more likely to produce something I am happy with and will help people.  The next time you try to kid yourself that you work better with a short deadline or under pressure, be careful. There is no need to punish yourself with self-imposed short deadlines. Putting yourself in this situation over and over again can lead to all sorts of health problems. Stress contributes to or causes 70% of illness in the UK right now and that figure is rising. Do your best today to stop procrastinating so you can feel less stressed  It often surprises people that hypnotherapy is a great tool to stop procrastinating. If you are stuck and want to get going, get intouch NOW!