How to Incorporate a Gratitude Practice Starting Today

Learn Why Gratitude Can Bring Work Life Harmony To Your Life In Five Minutes or Less Everyday

Gratitude is having a moment, and not to brag but we've kinda been on the gratitude train from the beginning. You see, at El and Al we exist to celebrate work life harmony, which is a holistic approach to integrating your personal and professional lives so you have less stress and more fulfillment. From our Purpose List to our morning and evening resources, we've always incorporated gratitude practices into everything we do because the science doesn't lie - grateful people live longer, are less sick, and are less lonely.

And here's the truly amazing thing about gratitude - you don't need to work super hard at it. In fact, you can literally start a gratitude practice right now. Seriously, stop reading this for a minute close your eyes and think of at least three things you are grateful for in this moment.

See - easy peasy. But, you probably already know this, right? Gratitude is a simple thing to do. So why do so many people forget to be grateful when faced with real world problems, gripes, and inconveniences? Well, it just so happens that there is some research on this that we want to share with you so you can stay grateful even when your circumstances aren't cooperating.

Gratitude Is Not About You

One of the things that you rarely hear spoken about when it comes to gratitude is that you can't be grateful alone. In fact, research shows that our brains process gratitude in tandem with social bonding  and it is linked to a part of the brain that processes memories. What this means is that a key to fostering real gratitude in your life is to make your interpersonal relationships a priority. And if you want gratitude to be incorporated into your workday and life in general, begin by making it a priority to connect with people.


How to Make Gratitude Social

It would probably be super cringe and awkward if you bursted into the office on Monday proclaiming how grateful you are for everyone existing. However, if you want to make your gratitude practice stick, you have to begin by being mindful about ways you can show how grateful you are for people in your daily life.

For example, keep a running tally in your mind of how many times you say thanks when someone does something for you at work. Did Sally hold the elevator while you darted down the hall with a stack of papers? Did Alfonso save you a seat at the crowded midday meeting? Did your coworkers send you a care package while you worked from home recuperating from COVID? Whether big or small, every social act of kindness deserves a thanks.

Being thankful for all of the ways your life is made better by the people around you is a nice thing to do, but from a practical standpoint it activates the parts of your brain that make gratitude a real thing in your life. We all like to feel appreciated. The next time you are struggling with incoporating gratitude into your workday, go on a thank-you spree and find ways to thank as many people as you can. We guarantee you will feel a boost in your gratitude almost immediately.

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

— Oprah Winfrey

Why Gratitude Makes Your Life Make Sense

Your mindset is built on action and when you write out your gratitude, you are reinforcing its importance in your life.

As we mentioned, gratitude is a social exercise. It is also connected to how our brains process memories. An article in the American Psychological Association highlights how gratitude is linked to how we assess our life over time. Think about it: when you look back over your life, do you feel appreciation for things good and bad? Do you see how things that didn't make sense at the time turned out to be blessings. What are the emotions you are filled with feel like? You are grateful AF right now, aren't you? Remember that this feeling is NOT by accident, your brain is designed to do this.

When you are having a bad day at work or you feel like your life is off the rails in some way, gratitude is the thing that makes you stop and get some perspective. Sure, things might not be optimal right now, but you are existing in this very moment. You have had other bad days and you have had other good days. The act of simply reflecting on this is a way to sneak gratitude into your day.

The next time you are struggling with incorporating gratitude into your life, close your eyes and remember a time that overwhelmed you with gratitude. Feel that moment from head to toe and let it wash over you. Use your memories to reactivate your gratitude muscles because that is what they are there for.

Reminder: A lifestyle of gratitude, of giving thanks for all of the many good things you are surrounded with, is one of the easiest ways to incorporate a good habit immediately into your lifestyle.

Creating a Lasting Gratitude Routine

Making gratitude a daily habit, preferably one that incorporates writing, is a must for work life harmony. It is easy to get bogged down by anxiety and stress and forget to take a moment to reflect. By reinforcing your habit with the act of writing out what you are grateful for, you are combining action with intention in a simple way.

At El and Al, we create resources that integrate writing because it is a science-backed way to improve your life by boosting your recall of information. It is an easy way to get thoughts out of your head and into the universe, and you can do it in five minutes or less with our printables and our guided print journals.

If you can start and end your day with gratitude, you will ensure that those hours in between that are spent in work and leisure are intentional and serving you and your unique needs.

I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.

— Brene Brown

Pulling It All Together

Don't make your gratitude practice a trend. THIS IS YOUR LIFE. Make incorporating gratitude into your daily life something that sticks for the rest of your days on this earth, because you are so very worth it.

Here are your three takeaways on gratitude.

  • Gratitude is social. Don't make it all about you. Find ways to show how grateful you are for people in your life everyday - this includes friends, family, coworkers, cashiers at stores - make saying thanks (and meaning it) your new thing.
  • Incoporate your memories into your gratitude practice. What are things you look back on with gratitude? How do they inform your present reality? Memories are a powerful tool that makes gratitude stick for you so use it to your advantange.
  • Write out the things you are grateful for every Morning and Evening. Don't spend too much time on this and write with authenticity.

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