“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful; it’s gratefulness that makes us happy.” —David Steindl-Rast
The holidays are approaching fast, and with it being Thanksgiving we thought gratitude was the perfect topic for this week’s post.
Gratitude comes up a lot when we talk about success in our work and in our lives. But it’s only through developing a consciousness of gratitude that we can maximize the gifts it brings.
So what is having a gratitude consciousness all about?
For me, it’s seeing all the blessings in my life through the prism of being grateful. It’s the awareness that even in the darkest times, there are things and people to be grateful for. And it’s about acknowledging my inner strength and ability to persevere. If I stop to look within, gratitude surfaces.
Today we’ll explore some of the gifts of having a gratitude consciousness, and how it can positively impact your business and your life.
Gratitude Allows Us To Shift Perspective
Looking through the lens of gratitude allows us to see things differently. Even our surroundings change when we become conscious of being thankful.
When I’m out taking a walk and think about being grateful in that moment, the sky seems more blue and the clouds more beautiful. There’s wonder and even surprise, as though I’m seeing things for the first time. It makes me notice all kinds of details, and brings me right into the present. Gratitude naturally invites mindfulness.
At work, it might involve noticing all that you’ve completed at the end of the day, rather than what remains undone. Or perhaps it’s taking time to be thankful for the sale you closed, or appreciating the project an employee completed. In this way, gratitude opens us up to the moment.
Gratitude Consciousness, as a practice, focuses on abundance instead of lack and scarcity. Because when we feel abundance we attract more of it into our lives.
I’m not saying that things are always rosy. In fact the truth is that we all face challenges at times. We’ve all experienced loss of some kind and worked through personal issues.
I struggled with anxiety for many years, and although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, I believe that it gave me a deeper understanding of myself and pointed me toward doing work I might not otherwise have done.
And that, too, is something to be grateful for.
Gratitude Supports Well Being
Studies conducted by Robert Emmons Ph.D. (the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude) show that practicing gratitude supports us in achieving our goals, helps us feel positive, and reduces stress.
When we’re consciously thankful for what is, we’re less caught up in ourselves. Rather than feeling worry and doubt, the focus shifts to the positive.
Goals are easier to achieve because gratitude puts us in our flow. The energy shifts and we are able to move towards our desired outcome with more ease.
Being consciously aware of the gifts that we receive daily creates feelings of well-being. We’re also more likely to offer support to others, which fosters connection and good will.
More Gratitude Means More Joy
Approaching life with gratitude in our hearts makes us feel good. It’s not that we ignore the negative aspects of life, rather we focus on what we have and the many gifts that life brings. In The Book of Joy by the Dali Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, gratitude is one of the seven pillars of joy. This makes perfect sense, when you think about how being grateful makes us feel.
Giving thanks is simply articulating what you’re grateful for. Keep a journal, or ask yourself everyday exactly what you’re grateful for, and you’ll be surprised how the list grows.
For example, here at the Extraordinary Businesswoman we’re deeply grateful for you—our readers. As a way to show our appreciation, we want to share with you a series we’re launching for women like you. If you like what you read in our posts, then you’ll love what we’ve put together. In our series we show simple ways to improve clarity, strengthen your inner knowing, move through obstacles, and create what you want in your business and life. To get a taste of the series as an introduction, join us for a complimentary webinar on setting intention.
Let us know what you’re grateful for and how that gratitude supports you.