How are you feeling right now? No, really. Stop for a moment to take a deep breath and think about how you’re really feeling at this very second (this is where you stop reading any further for about 10 seconds).
Was the first word to pop into your mind “stress?” Or, maybe “busy, tired, drained, and all the above.” While we’d all hope the words to describe our mental state in the middle of the work week would be positive, uplifted and energized, studies show that most of us would report the not-so-positive vibes.
Your state of mind impacts far more than just your mood. It can impact your physical health and healing, your stress levels and even your leadership.
In this post and on the podcast, we’re focusing on shifting our mindsets to one of gratefulness and appreciation and talking about how this directly impacts your teams and leadership. Check out these facts about gratitude and tune into the podcast to hear even more (along with some practical steps on ways to enhance your posture of thankfulness throughout each day).
- Gratitude makes you more likely to exercise
People who keep gratitude journals report fewer health complaints, more times exercising and fewer symptoms of physical illness (source).
- Gratitude reduces your stress level
What you focus your mind on over the course of a day drastically shifts your stress and how you perceive your tasks. While it’s impossible to completely remove stresses or obstacles from your day, those who were intentional about logging (or even mentally thinking about) things they were grateful at the beginning or throughout their day showed signs of lower stress and were able to perceive said stressful events with a more stable mental state.
- Gratitude improves the quality of sleep
Regularly focusing on thankfulness has shown to improve the quality of sleep and resulted in longer sleeping hours. Anxiety and the need to control every element of your life deeply weighs on your subconscious (and often even your conscious), keeping you from fully resting and being your best self when awake.
- Gratitude makes you a more effective leader
Grateful leaders motivate employees to become more productive. When your employees feel valued, they have a high job satisfaction and are motivated to their best to achieve your organizational goals and mission.
A grateful leader creates a contagious culture of thankfulness, mission-orientation and inspired work. As churches and nonprofits head into end-of-year giving and Christmas season galore, we want to encourage you to take some intentional steps towards gratefulness, and watch how the culture and energy of those around you starts to shift with you.