Last week, I conducted a series of presentations to employees at an industrial plant as part of their ongoing education on Stress Resilience. We had a great time as the employees talked about their upcoming holiday stress and how we’ll all be dealing with our crazy Uncle Albert (or someone) who is sure to disrupt some of the festivities.

Gratitude came up as a topic of discussion in most of the sessions, as a strategy to improve our own resilience and to truly enjoy the spirit of the season.

We’re all pretty good about being thankful around this time of the year but I think its possible to build gratitude as a habit all year round. The key to building a habit entails making small changes but doing so on an everyday basis. Here are some ideas to increase your gratitude habit.

  • Write a handwritten note to different colleagues (not an email) once per week or even one per month thanking them for their help on a project.
  • Wave an appreciative thank you to someone who lets you into the flow of traffic (please do it safely).
  • Call up a relative who you’ve not talked to for awhile and just check in with them (I called my son in law yesterday and we talked for nearly an hour!)
  • Look at service professionals (waiters, cashiers, sales people) directly in the eye and thank them for being helpful.
  • Acknowledge your good work with a personal slap on the back and recognition of a job well done.

Gratitude is a great way to build your personal resilience and to help others feel good about themselves. It provides a great return on investment in building your own and others resilience.

© Richard Citrin, 2014


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