When you hear the term ‘gratitude’, what comes to mind?
If you’ve ever thought, “fad”, “too hard” “pointless”, you’re not alone.
Many of us have a ‘complex’ relationship with it.
We may be intrigued by it, skeptical of its impact, or simply confused at where to begin!
But here’s the thing; gratitude isn’t just a feel-good trend or something from ‘happy-ology’ - it’s a scientifically proven tool that can transform the way we navigate our work+life. It’s a simple, yet profound practice that can have an incredibly positive impact on our personal and professional lives.
Whether you’re a gratitude enthusiast, or a skeptic, there are two things you need to know about gratitude:
(1) Practising gratitude changes the way you see the world, for the better.
Our brain was designed to detect threats; it constantly scans the world for danger and makes sure we’re alerted to and focusing on everything that is ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’. It does this to keep us safe from harm – which is considerate (#thanksbrain) – but, it’s also incredibly unnecessary in the modern world. Continuous and constant 'threat detecting' is likely to lead to feelings of misery, sadness, and anxiety.
Practising gratitude is your superpower, because when we notice what’s ‘good’ and ‘right’, and with regular and repeated practice, it creates a positive loop: noticing the good makes us feel good, and when we feel good, we notice the good.
We tend to get over things quickly – like the buzz we feel when we get a brand new car or a promotion. We're excited at first but then we get over it. This is what psychologists call ‘hedonic adaptation’.
Practising gratitude circumvents hedonic adaptation – it encourages us to notice and continue to appreciate all the good things in our lives.
(2) Practising gratitude improves and enhances your psychological and physical health.
Increase happiness, positive moods, and make you feel more satisfied with your life
Reduces materialism (i.e., you stop wanting more 'things')
Decrease the likelihood of experiencing burnout
Improve sleep and sleep quality
Reduce fatigue and increase energy
Increase resilience and optimism
Encourage the development of patience, humility, and wisdom
With benefits like these, why wouldn’t you practise gratitude? Get started or reinvigorate your practise with our Gratitude Journal. Informed by positive psychology research, it has five evidence based practices for you to try so you can find the one that works best for you.