In our work, we see that people are running faster than ever before. Work has gotten busier and busier: there are fewer resources and people to do the work, money has gotten tighter, the stakes are higher, and the speed required for thinking and delivery keeps accelerating. As one client recently said “I am running as fast as I can and the finish line keeps getting farther and farther away.”
We know that with all of this effort you will face days when you feel you cannot do one more thing, think one more thought, or have one more conversation. When you hit that moment, a powerful intervention is to shift to an attitude of gratitude.
When you are feeling overwhelmed, spent, burnt out and run down and you are feeling like there is nothing left then the sense of depletion can create a downward spiral. To interrupt the downward spiral and move yourself toward stability or even an upward, evolving spiral, pause and reflect on what you are grateful for in your life.
Gratitude has amazing power. To reflect on it, you must pause – just pausing helps you interrupt the downward nature of burnout. Then once you pause, looking around for those things that you are grateful for in your life can get you on solid ground and help you start to spiral up towards creating more satisfying moments.
Here are some areas you might want to consider when you explore what you are grateful for:
your body, your mind and intellect, your creativity, your feelings of wonder, your sense of humor, your sense of adventure, the home that you are living in, the money you earn, the bed you slept in, the opportunity to shower, the food you have to eat, the weight you need to lose because it reminds you of the food you get to eat, colleagues you care about, causes you support, that tree outside your window or on your drive to work, your new haircut, that you have hair at all, your dear friends, your kids…
As you can see, there are no rules about what you can be grateful for, the act and attitude of gratitude changes us for the better.
This week, see if each evening you can identify 5 things you are grateful for. You can repeat things, of course, but also look around for those things that you take for granted that contribute to your life.