Tools for Tough Times: Gratitude

Today’s tool for tough times is gratitude.  We all need to be reminded to express gratitude daily, for it is one of the healthiest actions we can do.  Gratitude is like a health food; it does us no good if we never do something with it! 

We know that grateful people who express heartfelt gratitude daily will sleep better and longer, are more likely to practice healthy eating, exercise more, and experience fewer aches and pains.  They tend to enjoy lower levels of stress reactions and maintain a better mood than those who do not.  And the list of well-being benefits goes on from here.  One of the healthiest things you can do in life is to be grateful every day.

Gratitude tips

Here are a few things you can do daily to express your attitude of gratitude.  Use these or come up with other grateful expressions.  These can help you to start expressing gratitude daily if you are not already and ramp it up if you are.  Remember, gratitude is contagious!

  • Write five to ten things for which you are grateful while drinking my your coffee in the morning.
  • Discover the use of a gratitude journal in which you can write your gratitude list to reflect on later – this can be helpful when you struggle with finding gratitude.
  • Express thanks to a higher power before  you get out of bed (no matter your higher power concept).
  • Express gratitude to anyone who serves or helps you – sincerely, making eye contact, and being specific about that for which you’re grateful.
  • Leave notes to thank people for their contribution or for simply being there – on a sticky note, a whiteboard, or in an email or text.
  • Tell your teammates and co-workers of their worth and your gratitude for them – be honest and genuine when you tell them in person. 
  • Put together a central gratitude station, such as a thank-you board or gratitude tree – make a place for expressing thanks if one is not already in place.
  • Thank more people more often in all settings – work, home, and community – with sincerity and substance.  You can say it many ways – with your eyes, gestures, and smiles – and even with words!
  • Gratitude up your work and living spaces with simple signs, sayings, or notes regarding gratitude.
  • When you start your car to drive home, to work, or anywhere, let it warm-up for a minute and use that time to be mindful and express gratitude.
  • Every time you eat with someone – coworkers, friends or family – let everyone there share on thing for which they are grateful that day.

Stay grateful and stay strong in the storms of life. Thank you for your exceptional resilience in the tough times!

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