When things get tough, as they so often do in business, we tend to dwell on what isn’t working and what could be better. When you’re focused on negativity, practicing gratitude and giving thanks can be challenging. But that is the exact thing you need to do to counteract those bad feelings.
As we face the inevitable obstacles that come with entrepreneurship, we encourage everyone to implement a gratitude practice to improve their mood and their outlook, making it easier to spread a little more kindness and joy.
Why You Need a Gratitude Practice
Gratitude is about focusing on the good things in your life. When you shift your attention to what is working, negativity can’t be at the forefront of your thoughts. It’s impossible to dwell in fear and anxiety when you’re focusing on the things that bring you happiness and joy. You can’t do both at the same time. As Shift/Co Founder & CEO Terri Maxwell says, “You get what you focus on.”
Additionally, there are numerous studies on how gratitude changes your brain. Expressing gratitude increases dopamine and serotonin levels. These chemicals have a residual effect and make us feel happier and more positive for extended periods.
Starting your day from a place of positivity opens you up to numerous possibilities you would otherwise be closed off to. If you’ve felt off or not quite yourself, investing in gratitude may be the thing that starts you on the journey to experiencing the best version of yourself.
Four Ways to Be More Grateful
Business happens fast. When you get swept up in the day-to-day activities of your work, self-care and mindfulness are two of the first things that fall from your to-do list. Develop a routine following these tips to ensure gratitude remains an active part of your life.
1. Schedule Time for Gratitude
It takes practice and time to develop a habit of gratitude that will change your life. We recommend putting aside 30 focused minutes each day. Schedule it in your planner or create an event in your calendar app, so you are reminded daily. Commit to being thankful each day.
2. Create a Gratitude List
List the things in life you’re thankful for. Start by saying, “I am grateful for…” and complete the sentence.
Once written down, take a minute to appreciate that person or thing you wrote down. Focus on how you feel in that moment and dwell in that warm feeling.
3. Express Gratitude
Let the people in your life know what they mean to you. Even if it is impossible to do it in person, send a text or email letting them know you’re thankful for who they are and what they do. This action has a positive effect on both you and them.
And don’t reserve your thankfulness for those closest to you — express gratitude to a stranger holding the door or the clerk at the grocery store. Let people know you appreciate what they do for you.
4. Avoid Negative Forces
Certain things in our lives make us feel bad, whether it’s a toxic person or a particular television program or news outlet. While we can’t always avoid these things, don’t hesitate to say no, disable notifications, or turn off the TV when that source of negativity shows up.
Find More Reasons to Be Grateful
As you strengthen your gratitude practice, you will open yourself up to new possibilities. If you’re looking for a new source of inspiration in your business, Shift/Co is here to provide you with community, coaching, training, and so much more.
Learn how Shift/Co can give you even more reasons to be thankful.