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How to Practice Gratitude at Work

Grateful people are successful people.

“Gratitude is the ultimate performance-enhancing substance at work,” says Professor Robert Emmons, a gratitude researcher and professor of psychology at UC Davis.

Employees who excel at work don’t wait for something good to happen to be thankful; it’s often the other way around. To get yourself on the gratitude track, here are ways to increase gratitude in the workplace.

Notice the small things

At the end of the work day, make a list of three things that went right. Even if it was a challenging day, anyone can find three positives, such as finishing an important email, booking a meeting or committing to taking a lunch break. Put this in a prominent place at your desk where you’ll see it when you arrive the next day. Be thankful for small wins and use the moment to start the day with momentum.

Compliment a colleague

It’s easy to get wrapped up in our routine and challenges we face. But even when you’re busy – and especially when you’re busy – pausing to notice the accomplishments of a colleague and thank them will lighten your load. When you pay attention to catch your co-workers doing something right, you’re less likely to negatively stew over your problems. The positivity will be reflected back on your mood and productivity.

Write simple thank you notes

You don’t have to make a big show of gratitude. A simple post-it-note that’s left on your monitor or on a colleague’s desk will do the job just fine. It’s not the stationary that counts – it’s the thought.

Create a digital gratitude folder

When you get an email that means a lot to you, don’t delete it or let it sit in your inbox. Instead, start a gratitude email folder for compliments and projects you’ve accomplished. Scroll through it on days when you need the extra boost.

Gratitude takes work, but it’s worth it. Being mindful of what’s right can help build momentum into a beneficial upward cycle. Thanks for reading – now pass it on.