Swing and A Miss: Chapter 12
An Attitude of Gratitude
An attitude of gratitude
Did you know gratitude has emotional, social, personality, career, and health benefits? Until I did a little research, I did not know gratitude can benefit these five areas. Based on my own personal reflection, disappointment tends to negatively affect these areas. So yes, a little gratitude may be just what we need.
Friends, simply journaling for five minutes a day about what we are grateful for can enhance our long-term happiness by over ten percent. Wow. Five minutes for an uptick in overall happiness, sign me up! Wait, I guess I just need to get out my journal for that. Easy enough. Research has shown that gratitude reduces envy, facilitates positive emotions, and makes us more resilient. Resilience, yes please, load me up on some of that when I’m facing disappointment.
Gratitude will also have people gravitate towards you. Those who are more grateful have access to a wider social network, more friends, and better relationships on average. Gratitude improves all forms of relationships, which is always an advantage.
Furthermore, gratitude can increase and enhance optimism, and make us more giving. Let’s be real, when sitting smack in the middle of disappointment, we want everything to be about us, our pain, our discomfort, the unfairness of it all. We can easily become Negative Nelly, and friend, no one likes hanging with Negative Nelly. She’s no fun, an absolute killjoy. Trust me, no one benefits from her presence. A little dose of optimism could go a long way in making life better for all involved. So yes, practice gratitude to kick your inner Negative Nelly to the curb. So long Nelly, ain’t nobody got time for that.
Gratitude research has also shown practicing gratitude increases managerial and employee effectiveness. Makes sense, right? If you have ever worked for someone who thanked you for the work you were doing, encouraged you, and supported your efforts, you know how awesome (and how rare) this is. This is the kind of boss we love to work for. Grateful people also tend to be more patient and make better decisions. Gratitude can contribute to finding more meaning in our work.
Time-out. Can I share some of my own story for a moment? Of course I can, I am the one writing. In my own situation, I did my best to be grateful. In fact, my list of things I was grateful for was quite long. That list both made me want to stay, and made question whether leaving was the better option. I resigned, grateful for my time there, and for the clarity of vision that season offered me. My own gratitude allowed me to leave with a smile on my face, in spite of the circumstances. I met some amazing people, and learned from many of them. I found friends I didn’t know I needed, and purpose I had been looking for. But, my time there was just for a season. In the heat of the moment, I was fuming a bit. I was hurt and angry. Yet, after a few days of Negative Nelly running her mouth, I found myself recounting what good had come from the position I held. There was quite a bit of good. No, things did not end as I would have liked, but I have come to believe that chapter closed at the perfect time.
Looking to improve your health? Practice gratitude! That’s right folks, gratitude can help improve your physical health. Go ahead, count those blessings and you may see a reduction of blood pressure and stress, improved sleep, and an increase in healing and recovery. Who knew gratitude was so powerful?
Misery loves company. It’s true. When we are feeling miserable, and are neck deep in disappointment, we want others to see how wronged we were. But maybe, just maybe, we won’t have the need to suck everyone around us into our vortex of misery if we are practicing gratitude. We can feel hurt, and angry, and disappointed without becoming trapped in those feelings. You and me? We are resilient, we are wise, and we will practice gratitude in spite of our circumstance because we choose to be good humans.
Fist bump. We got this.