“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions,” author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar famously said. “The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”
How many of us wake up in the morning grumbling, searching for coffee, and simply going through the motions before sitting down and starting the work day?
Whether you’re a morning person or not so much, taking the time to actually set up an uplifting morning routine that includes practicing gratitude—even if it’s just saying thanks for one thing each day—can have a big impact on the rest of your day.
“Practicing gratitude can be a key element in finding a more fulfilling and balanced work life,” explains Sally Anne Carroll, a life and career coach based in Portland, Oregon, “and it can certainly help us be more effective and even happier at work.”
In order to understand exactly how practicing gratitude can influence our productivity and success, we asked Sally Anne Carroll to break down all the ways being thankful can help set anyone up for more success and fulfillment at work.
It will tell a better story about our work.
We all get into narratives about our job, and those narratives impact our performance and satisfaction but asking yourself what it is about your work that you feel grateful for can change your daily work experience.
“Maybe you are simply grateful to have work at a time when so many are out of work,” explains Carroll, “The story you’re telling yourself about your job will be how you experience it. Skip the venting about work, and switch it up with noticing what you appreciate!”
It will help to manage stress.
There are endless studies that show how gratitude practices have a positive effect on general well being—even something as simple as listing three things a day to be grateful for, the one thing that you appreciated today, or starting your day with a thank you note.
According to Carroll, regularly practicing gratitude can have a profound impact on how we view and manage the stressors in the workplace, and those in our personal life (so they don’t come to work with us).
It will help you develop stronger work relationships.
“Appreciating your job, organization, coworkers and clients/customers changes your personal energy and how you show up at work,” says Carroll. “Actively sharing your appreciation builds stronger and more trusting relationships, and relationship building can be a key aspect of a successful career.”
It can be as small as sending a thank you email, showing appreciation of others publicly or expressing your gratitude to others’ contributions.
It may improve your overall attitude.
“The human brain can tend to focus on the negative more than the positive, but gratitude lets us intervene and move to a more positive mindset,” says Carroll. Plus, everyone prefers to work with coworkers who bring positivity and a can-do attitude to their work.
It can help you to shift focus when needed.
Often, when performance is lagging, it can mean that we’re focused on things that are distracting us or holding us back. “Instead of focusing on office politics, difficult clients or rumors about potential changes at work, shifting the focus to what we are grateful for instead can help tremendously with productivity,” Carroll says.
Maybe you’re grateful for a new assignment, the larger impact of your work, the opportunity to grow professionally, or the resilience you are learning in dealing with a challenging boss. There’s always something to be grateful about—even if it may not be your ideal work situation.