Professional Development

Practice Gratitude, Work Better

Taking time out of your day to practice gratitude can be life-changing, but have you ever wondered exactly how you can begin a gratitude practice? Her’s how practicing gratitude can help you be more productive and motivated throughout your workday plus simple steps for getting started.

What Is a Gratitude Practice?
Practicing gratitude is the act of recognizing and acknowledging what you appreciate and are thankful for. The idea of a gratitude practice has been increasing in popularity—and for good reason, as it has many personal, professional, physical, and emotional benefits, including the following:

  • improved productivity;
  • increased patience, kindness, and empathy toward others;
  • better relationships;
  • better sleep;
  • positive mindset;
  • improved self-esteem; and
  • positive feedback loop.

In addition to a more healthful lifestyle and better attitude, maintaining a gratitude practice can help you focus during the workday, especially if you struggle with productivity or motivation. Expressing gratitude toward others also can make your workplace a more positive environment, which is a win-win!

How to Implement a Gratitude Practice
Anyone who can spare a few minutes a day can practice gratitude. Start by keeping a daily gratitude journal. At the end of every day, take five minutes to write down 10 simple moments during that day for which you’re grateful. The more specific you are, the more benefits you’ll derive from this practice; try not to write down broad topics such as your partner or your job or your kids.

Being as specific as possible may help you notice that even moments you thought you dreaded are actually opportunities to harness gratitude. For example, if you have a challenging client or patient but finally made a breakthrough with them, you could write, “I am grateful that I had a breakthrough with that client today.” Seemingly banal household tasks such as laundry can spark gratitude: “I am grateful to have clean, fresh clothes now.” Even busy and stressful workdays can be put in a more positive light through practicing gratitude: “I am grateful to finally cross that task(s) off my list—it feels great having it done!”

Expand your radius of gratitude by practicing kindness toward others and expressing how grateful you are for them. Thank your colleagues, family, friends, grocery store cashier, etc, for something they’ve done for you. These small moments and actions add up to make you and those around you happier and instill in you a more positive mindset. 

— Alena Kharlamenko, MS, RD, CDN is a nutrition consultant and recipe developer. She’s the founder of Alena Menko Nutrition, a food and nutrition blog where she publishes healthful, plant-forward recipes and makes nutrition approachable with easily digestible information. She’s also a Monash FODMAP-Trained Dietitian. You can find Alena on Instagram @thebalancedbite or on Facebook @AlenaMenkoNutrition.

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