When is the last time you paused and gave thanks for the things in your life that you know to be true and good?
There is growing research on the multitude of benefits associated with gratitude. From physical benefits such as the ability to lower stress and create better sleep habits, to psychological benefits like increased satisfaction and resilience; implementing a regular practice of gratitude can have a significant impact on our lives.
Taking time each day to be grateful can actually play a role in how our brains are wired. A concept known as neuroplasticity explains how through changes in our thinking, we can actually create new connections and pathways to happiness. In essence, we can train our brains to better focus on the positive of a situation instead of immediately going to the negative.
Keep in mind that such a dramatic shift in thinking doesn’t happen overnight and requires a great deal of practice. Like any change in behavior, it starts with creating new habits. Gratitude will not necessarily change or eliminate the challenges we face in our lives, but it can be a powerful tool in how we perceive and ultimately address them.
While the impact of gratitude can be so strong that its effects have been compared to that of medication, it can also help in improving leadership effectiveness. Research has linked gratitude to higher levels of empathy, compassion, and overall likability. Leaders who show and practice gratitude are shown to build healthier, more trusting relationships.
Start making gratitude not only a regular part of your leadership, but also your life. For additional background and thoughts on this topic, click the links below.