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Gratitude - train your brain to see the good things.

We all have times when we find work particularly challenging.

Add that to the stresses of everyday life, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and as if nothing is going your way. The good news is there are steps we can take to make the outlook brighter for ourselves.

Gratitude is the most powerful way I know of being able to make a positive change to anybody’s mindset. Practising gratitude is something that anybody can do, and research shows time and time again that people who practice gratitude are happier, healthier, more resilient and more successful.

What is gratitude?

Practising gratitude is more than just saying please and thank-you for things. Practising it means making a commitment to start to focus upon all that is good in your life – even if and especially if things are bad.

When you start practising gratitude it can feel difficult and challenging. You may hear yourself say ‘This won't work for me’ or ‘There is nothing to be grateful for’. That kind of resistance is a clear indication that you definitely need to practice it.

Within a week of practising gratitude you will begin to notice your resistance to it drop and your once-negative mind will begin to become aware of the good things around you. It is a simple tool to enable you to train your brain to see the good within any situation.

How to practise gratitude

Practising gratitude is simple:

• Get a notebook and pen to keep as your gratitude journal.

• Every evening write down three things you are specifically grateful for. It’s really important to be specific. The more you focus upon making this exercise specific to the day, the more you will have an emotional connection to the thing you are grateful for.

• Keep doing this for at least 21 days to notice the biggest impact.

Some important notes on gratitude:

• The more specific you can be, the better. Instead of saying ‘I am grateful for my children’ think of a specific reason that day. For example it could be: ‘I am grateful that my children ate all their dinner today’.

• The things you are grateful for do not have to be huge. They can be things like having a good cup of tea, noticing some flowers, or someone holding a door open for you.

• On those really difficult days, gratitude can become your saviour. For example, you may have had an awful day but, if you are practising gratitude, instead of becoming so overwhelmed with that you will notice yourself thinking ‘I am so grateful for that doctor’ or ‘I am grateful that person helped me’.

• Out of all the tools and techniques I teach, this is my favourite one because it is so simple and yet has such a profound effect.

So, what are you grateful for today?

Beam Development & Training supports clients from large corporates to freelancers with wellbeing. We offer a range of workplace wellbeing packages, from fully-bespoke programmes delivered in-house, to our eLearning Wellbeing Library featuring a full range of on-demand workshops and courses - all featuring a range of learning styles

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