Podcast Episode 40: Simple Tools to Cultivate Gratitude

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Learning how to  cultivate gratitude is so important for success and happiness. But for some, gratitude is not our default state of being. In this episode we’ll move beyond the gratitude journal and discuss: 

  • Why gratitude is important
  • Why it may not be your default setting
  • How to simply cultivate gratitude 

Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have
instead of what they lack.

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Read the Transcript
Hey there, 

Welcome back to the career refresh podcast. I am your host, Jill Griffin.

This week I want to talk about gratitude. I’m going to keep this episode short and sweet but still loaded with actionable tips. 

As many Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving… talk of gratitude will be all around us. 

This time of year can kick off thoughts of cozy holiday festivities for many of us, BUT Many of us are still working through a high level of uncertainty due to the impact of the Covid19 pandemic. 

So before you shrug and say, I’m not feeling it this year, I want to talk about why it’s hard to feel grateful sometimes, talk about some benefits of gratitude and offer you some ways to bring gratitude into your life beyond the gratitude journal. 

Why does feeling gratitude beyond a national holiday feel challenging?

We are hard wired for a negative bias. Evolutionary biology my friends….its there to protect us and we can find ourselves giving greater weight to what could go wrong vs what’s right. it can also be used against us. 
We do a classic compare and despair. Where we compare our colleagues outsides to our insides.  We are on social media see what everyone else is doing, we scroll linkedin and see everyone getting promotions and new jobs and it skews our reality. 

One recent study of college undergrads found that those who limited their social media use to 30 minutes each day felt significantly better after the three-week period of the study. 

And we feel pressure to be successful. Whether you call it presentism or performative workaholism the constant grind and an  eye toward the future makes it harder to feel content with the present 

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new the always needing and wanting more thinking it will satisfy us. 

Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. 
And, although it may feel contrived at first, a state of gratitude and appreciation grows stronger with use and practice.

And maybe for yourself gratitude isn’t a default setting. But, fostering a sense of appreciation is linked to a number of benefits, including lower stress, greater mental resilience, and increased self-esteem

Here are some tools to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis.
Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter or email expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.

Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.

Do an gratitude evaluation – 
God and gratitude box – maybe for you it’s source, universe, spirt, or higher self.
Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).

Ok my friends. If you are looking for support I’d love to be your coach. I am launching a career strengths program that will help you leverage your strengths, increase confidence and visibility and help create whats next for you. I’ll put the link to get on the information list in the show notes. 

Have a great week and I will see you next time.