Where did that year go! December has rolled around again, and it is a good opportunity to reflect on everything that you have achieved this year. Perhaps this year didn’t go to plan. Or perhaps 2017 was your year where the stars aligned for you. We spoke with Shannon Lyndon-Lugg from Lyndon Lugg consulting, a leadership expert, growth mindset and mindfulness guru, about what gratitude really means.
“Reflecting on, and cultivating, gratitude fortifies us during times of adversity and emotional turmoil and leads to greater happiness and resilience. Of all the attributes you can develop, gratitude is most strongly associated with positive mental health. Essentially our thoughts trigger changes in our body that affect our mental and physical health, so by increasing your positive thoughts, like gratitude, you can increase your mental well-being as well as, your physical health” Shannon explains.
So how can we build gratitude in ourselves? Well, thank you for asking!
Write it down, and I’m not talking about the big things either, noticing the little things is important. Create a daily ritual and be really specific. For example, you could write down that you are grateful that you made the train this morning. The flow on is that it set you up for your day ahead. It takes 21 days to form a new habit, which in turn builds new neural pathways within your brain. To kick off the new year you may want to start a new habit of writing down the 3 things that you are grateful each day. Personally, I like to do this at the end of my day when I’m tucked into bed (better than staring at your phone before you go to sleep). So treat yourself to a gratitude journal, I got mine from Kikki K, but there is a ton out there these days. By having it in a journal you can look back and reflect on what you were grateful for at different times in your life. You will also start noticing more things in your day.
Say it out loud - Often when we say things out loud it becomes more concrete. Sharing what you are grateful for will also help to fortify gratitude in the people around you. Perhaps you might make a conscious effort to share what you are grateful for with your housemate or partner in crime at the end of your day. Some people like doing this at the dinner table each evening with their children, this is a great habit to form from an early age. My son’s daycare does this at the end of each day as a group. Creating a habit means it becomes innate, just the way you do things.
Surround yourself with positive peeps - some people just ooze positivity, enthusiasm, gratitude and are truly thankful for all that they have got. These are the people with the attitude that “the secret to having it all, is knowing you already do”. Get around people who bring out the best in you and make you feel good about yourself. I once said to a leader I worked with, “You have an amazing ability to make the people you work with feel so special, like they are the only person in the world”, and her response was “That’s the way I think about people”. This is an attribute I aspire to obtain. So who are your tribe of people who bring out the best in you?
As this year draws to a close, what are the three things you are most grateful for? Spend a few minutes reflecting on the things that you are most grateful for this year. I know what you are thinking...yeah yeah I will do it later. But will you? Seriously, grab a piece of paper, or even start writing a text message in your phone (you can send it to yourself, your mum, your partner, your team at work). So stop reading for one moment and really have a think about the three things you are most grateful for.
For me it would be the new addition to our family and how it feels so complete now. The second would be moving to Byron Bay, our favourite place in the world. And thirdly, it would be launching Gutsy, our passion project over the last few years. It has been a big year for the Gutsy family.
From all of us at the Gutsy Team, we hope you have all had an awesome year and are just as pumped as we are for what lies ahead in 2018!
Written by Claire Gray, Co-founder at Gutsy Life
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Shannon Lyndon-Lugg is an expert in the realm of Leadership, Development, Diversity and Performance. Shannon holds a degree in Business with Majors in Human Resources and Industrial Relations. She is a qualified Executive Coach, has studied Positive
Psychology with The University of Pennsylvania and is currently undertaking a Masters in Organisational Coaching and Leadership.