In my last few articles I discussed the power of having a practice of gratitude which includes giving and receiving and practicing gratitude during the bad times. Many people only focus on gratitude during the holiday season, from mid-November through the end of December. Studies have shown there is a true benefit in having a practice of gratitude. Gratitude is associated with better health, increased productivity, less stress and low levels of anxiety and depression. Also, when you practice gratitude, people tend to want to be around you and you attract more of what you desire. This leads to an increase in sales in your business and well as overall career satisfaction. Instead of waiting until November and December, what if you developed a practice of focusing on gratitude all year long? Here are some ideas on how you can start your own practice of gratitude.
1) Say thank you. It is said the great Theoretical Physicist, Albert Einstein, said thank you several times each day. He thanked the great scientists of his past for the contributions they made. He knew without their work he would not have achieved the success he did. Throughout your day find someone or several people you can say thank you to. Or, even take a moment to write out a thank you note and mail it to someone. You will brighten their day as they will be surprised to receive it.
2) Keep a gratitude journal. In the morning or evening, which ever works best for you, take a few minutes and write down one or two things you are thankful for. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Several of my clients started with this step. They established a goal to write something they were thankful for down for seven days; most continued on after the seven days. When writing in your journal, try to write something different each day. Don’t get upset with yourself if you miss a day, just pick back up the next day.
3) Make a gratitude collage. On a poster board glue pictures or place keepsakes of people or moments in your life you are grateful for. You can also draw the items on the board. Put the board somewhere you can see it to remind you of those times. You can create more then one board and change them every now and then. Another option would be to create the collage in a notebook. If you travel, you could take the notebook with you and add to it along your journey.
4) Include your family. A great time to practice gratitude as a family is at dinner time. At least once a week, take turns going around the table expressing what you are grateful for or something good that happened during the week. Not only will you have the personal benefit of practicing gratitude, you will also be strengthening your family bond. You will set a tradition for your family that can be carried down for generations to come.
5) Don’t think that everyone is out to get you. As mentioned in my prior article, The Practice of Gratitude: Giving and Receiving, when someone gives you a compliment do not become defensive. Often people will respond by saying things like, What? Why did you say that? What did you mean by that? Make sure you are not the one responds that way. You must be open to the opportunities that come your way. Give them the benefit of the doubt as you never know the true reason someone has come into your life and the gift(s) they may have for you, directly or indirectly.
6) Be open to receive. Giving and receiving are like the yin and yang of gratitude. Allow others to honor you and show how much they appreciate you. When someone gives to you, they are in turn receiving a gift.
7) Celebrate Success. This is something we don’t do enough. If you know someone who has reached a goal or achieved a significant accomplishment acknowledge them with a special phone call, card email or even a text message. They will be happy that you thought of them. Keep in mind this also includes celebrating your own accomplishment. When you do this, it strengthens your desire and focus to move forward towards what you truly desire in life. It pushes the voice of doubt further out of your head so you will stop telling yourself what you can’t do.
If you start with these steps, you will begin to see changes in your career, business and/or life. You will focus more on what you do have and the ability you have to create the life of our dreams. As you begin to embrace the positive and shake of the negative thoughts, you will have increased energy, reduce your stress level and ultimately attract more of what you truly desire in life. If you haven’t read the prior articles, you can find them on the Infinity Coaching Blog. Take a moment to read them and then begin your practice of gratitude today. Until next time, here’s to your success!
Carolyn R. Owens has over 25 years of proven experience and serves as a Career Strategist, Leadership and Life Coach. She is the Chairwoman and CEO of Infinity Coaching, Inc. where they help you up-level your skills so you can up-level your income. Infinity Coaching, Inc. provides one-on-one and group coaching coaching, organizational training, personality assessments and a signature program, the Infinity Coaching Inner Circle. Carolyn is certified to give both The Energy Leadership Index Assessment and Myers Briggs Type Indicator Assessment. You can find out more about both assessments and other products and services at http://www.infinitycoaching.net.