Using Gratitude to Excel in Business
“Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” – Fred De Witt
In business, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the daily struggles. Cash flow, HR issues, payroll, demanding customers and a never-ending to-do list can leave one feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. This is why practicing gratitude is essential to your success.
In its simplest form, gratitude refers to a state of being ‘thankful.’ Expressing gratitude is a mental choice that helps deal with life’s adversities, resets your mindset and helps change the structure of your brain. Whenever we express gratitude, we acknowledge the good that already exists in our life.
Why does this matter to your business?
Research suggests that gratitude helps to enhance the biochemistry of the brain by increasing production of dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is generally considered the ‘reward’ neurotransmitter and is vital in initiating action, while serotonin is essential to maintaining feelings of well-being, self-confidence and social engagement.
Whenever you focus on what you appreciate about others or on the blessings that you have, you strengthen brain pathways that create greater happiness and satisfaction in your life.
However, every time you focus on what isn’t working, or on the problems that arise, you reinforce negative thinking patterns that often increase stress and anxiety. And, as your stress increases, your brain functions less optimally which reduces the beneficial neurotransmitters in your brain.
Ways to practice gratitude:
Keep a gratitude journal (you can check out the one I wrote at headwaysgroup.com/shop)
Tell a friend, employee, or family member something you appreciate about them
Look at yourself in the mirror and think of something you like about yourself
Write a thank-you note
Sit in a quiet place and think about something that went well. Practice that feeling every day for a week. Take note of how it makes you feel
Next time something bad happens, consider five good things that occurred as a result.
Remember, like anything else, gratitude takes practice. If you want to reap the benefits, you need to practice daily until it becomes routine and second nature. Try to think of one thing every day that you are grateful for, no matter how small it is. I know that I am thankful that you read this article all the way to the end!