In this series, I share journaling prompts to cultivate gratitude and appreciation. You can follow along on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #TheGratitudePrompts, or here on the blog where I share my own personal answers to each prompt. For quick access to all the prompts in the series, check out THIS PAGE.
"The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement." Charles Schwab
Cultivating gratitude in a journal is a wonderful practice to have, but it's only part of the equation. It only follows that we should act on those feelings of gratitude by expressing our thanks to those around us.
In a recent study on the expression of gratitude (1) researchers found that we express our thanks far less often than we may think. Operating under something called "social reciprocity", we make the assumption that people will help us when we ask, or when they are in a social position to do so (like someone at work whose job it is to be helpful). Said differently, we tend to take others for granted and skip over the part where we say "thank you" for their help -- or if we do say thanks, it comes from social habit rather than a place of sincere appreciation.
Receiving thanks feels good, of course, but giving it can feel good too. And that's what this week's prompt is all about...
Tell someone you work with why you enjoy working with them, or thank them for doing a good job.
Think first about how we express our thanks: does it stem from a place of emotional gratitude, or is it simply something we say out of politeness or habit? For this prompt, try cultivating a true sense of gratitude by reflecting or journaling first, then express a sincere thank-you to someone whose hard work you appreciate. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture, you just have to mean it.
WHAT I WROTE:
I am lucky to have multiple co-workers I truly love working with -- they make my days so much more fun and take the weight off when work gets stressful. For this particular prompt Gabriela came to my mind. She is always so patient, kind, and fun to be around. She's a hard worker, and I think she's tough on herself... but she is so kind to everyone around her. She deserves to know how much her work is appreciated, how worthy she is of acknowledgement, and also how much her kindness impacts everyone else on our team. She makes me laugh so hard it hurts, and always knows when to reach out if I'm struggling with something. I'm so thankful to get to work with her, and to have her as a friend as well as a colleague.
Feel like sharing what you wrote for this prompt?
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Want more? As more prompts come out, they will be added to this page, HERE. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #thegratitudeprompts
Have a suggestion for a prompt? Leave a comment below, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Universals and cultural diversity in the expression of gratitude -- by Simeon Floyd, Giovanni Rossi, Julija Baranova, Joe Blythe, Mark Dingemanse, Kobin H. Kendrick, Jörg Zinken, N. J. Enfield, may 23rd 2018