A few years ago, I posted here about the power of gratitude. Research continues to show how being grateful benefits our physical, emotional and mental health. Several studies show it even helps us to sleep better. When I was a Project Manager I was assigned to the second largest project my company had ever undertaken. Everyone had high stress levels with the many delays, mandatory overtime working and weekends in the summer. As you might guess, the workforce was not happy. Every Friday before we started our daily meeting I would ask each team member to recount one good thing that had happened that week. I would be grateful for it and encourage them to do the same.
For many years I have done a morning gratitude ritual. Before I start my day I recount the things for which I am grateful. One of my spiritual groups is having a good deed a week challenge. Showing gratitude to others is one of the easiest ways to help both you and another person feel better. I have started filling out positive comment cards for employees of companies who go the extra mile. I have recently called managers to compliment someone on their staff. These tasks take five to ten minutes and make me feel good too. I was recently at the grocery store. A new set of nervous looking baggers were being trained. Mine was exceptionally slow. I saw the checkout clerk glare at him and heard his trainers voice raise to the level of almost yelling. When he was done I stood there until he made eye contact with me. All I said was “Thank you so much!” His expression changed and I saw his whole face light up.
Last week I subbed for someone who has been my yoga teacher for years. I was very, very nervous. After class, my manager at the health club said she immediately got three compliments on my teaching. I had never met those members before, but they made my day. I was glowing inside and out. Being on the receiving end of a compliment made me more determined to keep up my gratitude practice.