Why Gratitude Helps Reduce Burnout

    2 min read time

    The holidays plus end of year organizational revenue goals equals tons of stress and burnout. We've all been there. Our boss is on us for closing out projects, shipping product, closing deals. Our spouses are on us for additional party things to be bought, as well as to-do lists to clean up the house. Kids asking to attend parties, while handing you their Christmas list. And it goes on. Leading to an overload of your body and brain. 

    Did you know that burnout has now been listed officially as a diagnosable medical condition by the World Health Organization? Crazy. 

    So how can you reduce the burnout that comes with all the stress? 

    GRATITUDE. 

    Yes, it has been proven in studies that expressing gratitude on a daily basis can reduce the effects of burnout and stress, causing you to be more relaxed and a blessing to be around!

    Why express gratitude at work?

    - decline in stress and depression symptoms
    - energies and attention are focused on things that enhance daily experiences
    - thankful for things otherwise forgotten, as attention is redirected to make positive daily experiences more pronounced in your mind

    Positive aspects exist all around you every day but are overlooked because we have a limited number of places we can focus our attention at any given time. That means that, if you want a positive work experience, you have to make the choice to redirect your energy to all the good things you have going for you. No one can make this choice for you - not your boss, or your co-workers, or HR. YOU are the only person that has the power to change how you see the world in which you operate day-to-day.

    Where do you start?

    I suggest starting small. It’s hard at first, but if you’re consistent, it gets easier. Remember, you’re training your brain to look for things to be grateful for consistently. The more you do it, the better you’ll become. Soon, those positive things will balance out the less desirable ones. That’s not to say it will rid you of difficult colleagues, tight deadlines, or a schedule full of meetings. And just like you build more muscle when you go to the gym regularly, practicing gratitude will only perpetuate more good things happening.

    So, grab a spiral notebook. gratitudeSet it by your bed. At night, before you go to bed, list out what you were grateful for that day. It could be a person who you got to talk to, a manager who supported an idea you had in a meeting, or the receptionist had your favorite candy in the bowl on their desk, (my favorite!). Maybe you got approval for a project you’re passionate about, or you got that promotion you’d been praying for. 

    Express gratitude for anything that made your day a little bit brighter - no hesitations. The best part about this exercise is looking back each week on all the little things that brought joy into your day.