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Want to be Happy? Be Grateful

Want to be Happy? Be Grateful

BY Michelle McQuaid

We all know the warm glow we experience when someone expresses their gratitude for something we say or do. But does it make a difference to our happiness at work? Research indicates that introducing a culture of practicing gratitude in our workplaces has a contagious effect and improves our own job satisfaction and the job satisfaction of our co-workers.

This talk by Brother David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine monk and co-founder of gratefulness.org explains how gratefulness makes us happy. He gives us a simple ‘Stop, Look and Go’ formula to slow down, experience the moment and live gratefully. Could you find more ways to practice gratefulness in your day and improve your happiness at work? Watch David’s TED talk to find out.

What Will You Learn?

  •  [3:30] We can live gratefully by becoming aware that every moment is a valuable opportunity that has been given to us.
  • [7:00] At times we will experience difficult moments that we don’t have to be grateful about – violence, bereavement and other difficulties. Our challenge is to rise to these opportunities to learn something. These can be painful lessons, such as learning patience or standing up for what we believe in. These moments through difficult can enrich our lives.
  • [8:09] We can use a simple “STOP, LOOK and GO” method to increase our gratefulness. The STOP helps quieten our lives, LOOK so we don’t miss seeing the wonderful richness of life around us, and GO is the opportunity to really do something. Sometimes it’s the opportunity to enjoy the moment, and sometimes it’s something more difficult.

What Can You Try?

  • Each morning write down three things that you are grateful for. Put it in your wallet and when you are feeling low in the day pull it out and look at it to remind yourself of what you are grateful for in your life today.
  • Each day before you leave work take a minute or two to express your gratitude to someone. Make it genuine and authentic. Thank them for something specific they have said or done that has made your day easier or brighter in some way.
  • Increase your ability to live in the moment by practicing mindfulness on a daily basis. Set up cues that will remind you to quieten down. Then breathe deeply and focus your mind on your breaths entering your body and then leaving your body. When your mind starts to wander, bring it back gently to focusing on your breath. When you have finished look around you and see what you are grateful for in your life.

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