A gratitude jar has a similar impact to that of a journal. Every morning or evening you write down things you are grateful for on a piece of paper, fold it and drop it in the jar. Then on days when you struggle to find things you are grateful for, you can take a paper out of the jar and read it to remind yourself of days when you have felt more positive. You can read more than one gratitude note, but remember to keep adding to the jar.
A gratitude journal is a wonderful way to start and end your day. Write down 5 things you are grateful for today. It could be the rain on your garden; the colleagues who helped you with a problem; that you heart is still beating; that you can hear the singing of the birds. It is things that gladden your heart and give you a little bit of joy.
By starting your day this way, you set yourself up in a positive frame with a focus on what is good in your life. By ending your day this way, you set yourself up for a more peaceful night's sleep.
Regular use of a gratitude journal has a huge impact on anxiety, depression and stress levels.
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Making a personal visit to express appreciation to a colleague or friend is good for you and it's good for them. Both of you will enjoy that hit of serotonin and oxytocin than comes from giving and receiving words of appreciation. Never underestimate the impact of having made the effort to go to someone to tell them how much you appreciate them and why. A great practice as a leader is to make a point of doing this several times a week - make it deliberate. Team members should also never underestimate how much words of appreciation are valued by your manager!
I once received a personal note from a friend and fellow coach in which she outlined everything she appreciated about me, detailing the impact I had had on her life and on her coaching. I still have that note and read it from time to time. It is one of the most precious gifts I've ever received. She took time to give me detail - it was the most affirming appreciation I have ever received and I will treasure it for ever.
A hand written note is absolutely the first prize, but a thoughtful email that gives details about what you appreciate in that person will also be treasured.
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Make a phone call! Hearing someone tell you how much they appreciate you for something - whether face to face or in person - is a healthy experience for you and for them. No matter how busy, anxious or stressed you are, making a point of picking up the phone to tell someone that you value them will improve your day and theirs.
Public acknowledgement is one of the most powerful tools available to a leader. Whether it is in a "town hall meeting", a team meeting, over a public address system or at an awards event, public expressions of gratitude are remembered for a long time - especially by the recipient. These public expressions of appreciation impact on the serotonin and oxytocin levels of the giver, the recipient and the audience - it's a huge hit of happy hormones all round.
If you would like to work on your own resilience as a leader, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s discuss your coaching programme.