I tend to do my gratitude practice at the end of the day, and I’ve structured it that way for the practice at work, but perhaps I’ve been going at it backwards.
The part is the Stress Less program that seems to have the least traction is the gratitude practice, especially the Friday Thanks. As I’ve said before here, it is the part of the program that is most exposing and requires the most vulnerability, so I understand the discomfit. To be honest, I feel the discomfit. It is awkward and counter to usual workplace culture and I feel self-conscious and worry that I am perceived as fake and.or a flake.
The reason I persist is that I also feel the benefit. I genuinely do feel more grateful and I believe I have more empathy for others, because I have developed more compassion for myself. What can I do to encourage people to give this a go?
Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh talks about starting each day with gratitude:
“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”
Gratitude for being alive can be a hard emotion to reach in the workplace, it requires an open-heart and we tend to have our defences up at work. Often for good reason. Gratitude practice might help change that culture but how can I persuade people to trust their colleagues in this way?