When the holidays roll around, especially during Thanksgiving, many have an overwhelming sense of thankfulness and show appreciation to those they love. We even show more kindness to strangers with a friendly greeting or donating to a cause that means something to us.
During those times, we experience inner joy and naturally feel better. Now, what if you could hold onto that feeling all year? You can. And you’ll find it’s not that difficult to be grateful all year just by changing how we look at life.
GOOD MORNING STARSHINE
Add a little pep to your step this morning.
To start, we need to take a step back to take multiple steps forward. Are you of a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty mentality? There’s no right or wrong answer, as many of us have trained our brains to work one way based on past experiences or the actions of others. For the latter, changing the negative feelings that inevitably enter our brains during the most stressful situations takes work.
Your day begins as soon as you open your eyes; how you look through those eyes is up to you. When that alarm goes off, give yourself a few minutes to look forward to the coming day with excitement. We may tackle many of the same tasks daily, but think about how you could cheerfully approach some of these mundane responsibilities.
For example, you have a standing morning meeting with your team to review the day’s assignments. Usually, you would go through the list of items to accomplish with everyone responding to things that pertain to them.
Before each person reports, ask them to start with what they’re grateful for that day.
To get the ball rolling, you can lead by example with something like, “I’m grateful for my team who helps to keep the company moving forward.”
Not only will this lighten the mood, but it will also show you appreciate the group’s efforts. And you’ll learn more about each other which boosts morale and productivity.
Incorporate this into each meeting, and you will notice a difference in engagement.
You don’t need the thing you’re thankful for to be huge. If we can recognize even the most minor things, we’ll find so much more joy in the day-to-day, which can raise us, so we’re stronger for the not-so-good times. Examples of smaller pieces of joy – some are things we take for granted every day.
Say these things out loud. When you incorporate thankfulness into your daily routine, your outlook will brighten, motivating others to do the same.
LULLABY AND GOODNIGHT
A simple and classic lullaby can bring back grateful memories.
It’s the end of the day, and some parts were good, but some may have gone less smoothly than we would have liked. Ups and downs are a part of life, but when we try to find the good in the not-so-good parts, it makes everything much more manageable.
When lying in bed, back where we began thinking positive thoughts that morning, you can quietly reflect on your day. What did you experience? Was there something unexpected that made you smile? Did you look at a typical difficult situation differently, and by doing that, was it easier to get through it? If you’re open to it, try journaling before going to bed. It can be as simple as writing down unseen events that brought you joy. Or how you turned around a problematic moment simply by digging deep and finding a life lesson that made you, or someone else, smile.
Ask yourself if there are things you can proactively do to bring more joy to your life. When you break it down into small bites, it’s not as overwhelming, and you’ll find that it can be life-changing.
Are you miserable at work?
- Talk to your immediate supervisor to see if you can work together to make it better. If you’ve already tried this or are fearful of losing your job, the following action may be better for you in the long term.
- Work with a qualified staffing solutions provider to begin the search for a place where you can contribute your experience and talents that will also make you happy.
Am I my own worst critic, where I am known as the "complainer."
Am I always angry?
- EACH time something happens that makes you happy, say, “THANK YOU” out loud, even if you’re alone. When you realize there are so many things to be thankful for, that gratefulness begins to take over the defeatist mentality.
- Get others involved. During stressful times, they say misery loves company, but wouldn’t it be good if you had a posse who is experiencing the same thing but with an approach of humor? You can always find something funny about a situation, and talking openly with others who understand makes all the difference in your outlook.
Spending every day with gratitude will draw others to the light you now have. And the bonus is when you lead a grateful life, the positive impact on your mental and physical health is enormous.