Last month, a man my husband had mentored years ago posted a status update on his Facebook wall. In short, he publicly thanked my husband for how he had impacted his life. His thanks was succinct, specific and meaningful. In response, many others added their expressions of gratitude. It was so simple but so powerful. And what's amazing is that gratitude is actually just as life impacting for those who give it as those who receive it.
We are a nation of ungrateful people. Even our token, one- day- a- year -opportunity is largely overshadowed by the more commercially profitable and flashy holidays. It's just not that sexy. We've taken to calling it 'Turkey-Day' so we don't even have to inject any deeper significance into the observance. It's just about food and football! Don't try to complicate it!
Unfortunately, our lackluster gratitude practices are directly impacting the joy we experience each day- and not for the good. We are coming to find that an intentional practice of gratitude is directly related to our experience of joy. According to researcher Brene Brown, "Without exception, every person I interviewed who described living a joyful life or who described themselves as joyful, actively practiced gratitude and attributed their joyfulness to their gratitude practice."
So what does a practice of gratitude look like? It could be as simple as keeping a gratitude journal, writing a thank-you note or telling people what you're grateful for. A friend in a twelve-step program daily texts her sponsor with a 'gratitude list'.
It's not rocket science, but it just might change your life.
What can you do to increase your practice of gratitude? How could you encourage it in your staff or spread it to your residents?