Number 37 – Share Your Gratitude
With Christmas only a couple of days away, this feels like an apt moment to be considering what we are grateful for. This can be tricky – especially in the middle of a global pandemic – but there are always things and people in our lives that we can be grateful for. In fact, once you start tuning into gratitude, you start to see way more things to be grateful for than not. Everything from a roof over your head and running water, to friends and family or a particular aspect of your own personality.
Once you become attuned to seeing these sources of gratitude, you also become more inclined to share this with others. At the end of a work meeting today, I found myself thanking a collaborator for their work and for making me believe my project was possible. They were visibly touched by my gratitude and it made me realise how rarely we share how thankful we are.
Gratitude breeds giving and more gratitude in return. So, the more we express our thankfulness, the more we receive to be thankful for. It forms an entirely positive cycle. Not only that, but it makes us more inclined to give ourselves. Feelings of gratitude cause our bodies to release Oxytocin – a hormone that makes us feel all warm and gooey inside – which in turns makes us more likely to do something that gives others that same feeling.
In other words, taking time (I do it at the end of the day) to recognise some of the things you are grateful for can have significant knock-on effects to you and those around you. By refocussing your mind to see the sources of gratitude, you are more likely to express that gratitude and to perform actions that merit gratitude in return. It kickstarts a giving mindset, where your focus is on what you can contribute and offer instead of what you can take.
Ultimately, it means more people will want to work with, to be friends with, to support you. It means you will feel more positive and be more generous. It will create opportunities through collaboration and mutual support. It will foster social responsibility and care for others.
So, this Christmas more than ever before, remember to say thank you. Say thank you for what you have and for the people you have around you. Share that gratitude and it may just lead to a brighter, more positive 2021.