The practice of showing gratitude is more scientific than most people give it credit for. There have been proven results when it comes to how the action of gratitude can affect the way you think and feel. But, as the title of this article suggests, gratitude is a practice. It is something that needs to be worked on and acknowledged on a regular basis.
The grateful mindset comes more naturally to some people more than others. If it isn’t something that is strongly ingrained in you, don’t worry! That just means you have to take more time and put more conscious effort into practicing gratitude more often. If you are willing to do that, you just might be amazed at how many ways you life can change for the better. Let’s take a look at some of the positive changes you can expect from this wonderful daily practice.
You Will Build Stronger Relationships
Whether you have been friends with someone for ten years or ten minutes, the practice of gratitude can strengthen any relationship. Something as simple as a ‘thank you’ or action of thanks can add onto any relational foundation. It shows people your genuine emotion, and makes them more attracted to you as a person. In short, people will tend to like you more if you show honest gratitude, even for the smallest things.
Your Health Will Improve
It might be hard to believe that you will see physical improvements from something like showing gratitude, but there are a lot of ways this practice can boost your overall physical health. Feeling genuine appreciation can do things like lower your blood pressure and reduce your stress levels.
It can also help with aches and pains in your body, headaches, and can improve your heart health. You might also notice that you have more energy when you are genuinely grateful and appreciative. This affects your body, but it can also have an impact on your mental state and help you to get more done throughout each day.
You Will Manage Stress Better
Having a strong appreciation for things will make it easier for you to manage the stresses in your daily life. This includes minor things that happen all of the time, but it also can help with big things that might otherwise seem overwhelming. Being grateful will help you to deal with the hardships life can sometimes throw at you, because you will focus on the positive things and what you should be thankful for, instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of the situation you are in.
This skill can make you a pillar for others who might be struggling with stress or other hardship. People may come to you for support. You can use that as an opportunity to spread even more gratitude. Your positive attitude may rub off on others, so they can keep the trend going, too!
You Will Have More Confidence
Developing an attitude of gratitude can make you feel better about yourself and boost your self-esteem. This is mostly because you will stop comparing yourself to others. It is hard to be jealous of what someone else might have, how they look, etc., when you are grateful for what you have and how you look, as well as your accomplishments. Instead of being envious of the lives of others, you will be more appreciative of your own, which can help with your self-image.
You Are Less Likely to Face Depression
Studies have shown that people who are more grateful and appreciative are less likely to deal with depression or anxiety. This is because gratitude doesn’t leave room for so many toxic emotions in your life. If you are appreciative of the things in your life, it is harder to feel things like resentment, envy, or even anger. These emotions can still show up from time to time, but when your attitude and heart are truly grateful, those negative emotions don’t stick around for long.
You Will Feel Happier
Finally, you will tend to feel better overall when you practice an attitude of gratitude in your day-to-day life. There have been studies done on this very subject, and the results have consistently shown that people who are more appreciative of things are generally happier.
It’s important to note that everyone has a ‘baseline’ when it comes to happiness. It is up to us to push the line in a positive or negative direction each day. Having appreciation in your heart and mind will consistently make it easier to feel happier, instead of dipping below that line and feeling sad or angry about things.
How Can You Practice Gratitude Each Day?
Now that you know what a more grateful attitude can do, you might be wondering how you can actually be more appreciative each day. Keep in mind that it is an ongoing practice, and one you need to be conscious of all the time. But, there are some things you can do each day to create a shift in your mindset, and gravitate more towards a grateful attitude.
One of the best things you can do to get started is to create a ‘gratitude list.’ Sit down at the start of each day, and write down three things you are grateful for. Instead of thinking about what you have to do or the things you might be stressing over, consider the positive things that make you happy. By starting out your day this way, you can change your entire attitude. I use the Five Minute Journal to remind me every day to write down what I am grateful for each day. You can start your own gratitude journal if you wish, and take note of what you are grateful for each day.
As you can see, the practice of gratitude can have a huge impact on your daily life, with many positive results. There are many more benefits to consider, and some may be very personal to you. Try adopting this wonderful attitude into your life, and you are bound to notice some positive changes occurring quickly. In the end, that just gives you one more reason to be grateful.
How Neurobics Can improve Your Memory
When you are trying to improve your overall well-being, it is just as important to focus on your mental fitness as well as your physical fitness. Most people have heard of aerobics. Aerobic exercise is a great way to boost your heart rate and burn a few extra calories while improving your heart health. But, have you ever heard of Neurobics? Neurobics is the science behind brain exercise.
Yes, you can exercise your mind and keep it just as fit as your body. But, it is not like your brain is going to do any jumping jacks or jogging any time soon, right? So, what can you do to keep it fit, and how does exercising your brain actually improve your memory?
Let’s dive a little deeper into how Neurobics actually works, and a few exercises you can try to boost your memory and overall brain health.
What Is Neurobics?
When you break Neurobics down, it stands for neurons + aerobics. Neurobic exercises increase the level of oxygen in your brain and “breathe life” into the neurons.
When those neurons are stronger and more stimulated, it improves your brain health – especially your memory. A good way to visualize how Neurobics actually helps is by picturing a piece of glass being blown into a decorative item. The glass maker has to stretch the piece when it is warm and malleable. But, once it is stretched out, it doesn’t spring back to where was before. It stays permanently in place.
Neurobics work the same way. By taking part in an activity or experience that taxes your brain, you are “stretching” the neurons. Once they are stretched, they don’t return to the shape that they were in before.
That is the point of Neurobics – to challenge your mind in different ways so that it gets stronger. If you are working out your body, doing the exact same exercise the same way each day, it would eventually cause your results to plateau. You have to switch things up to “confuse” your muscles and get them stronger. Working out your brain is just the same. With that in mind, let’s cover a few easy Neurobics exercises that you can start doing right away.
Change Your Habits
One of the easiest (and yet, most challenging) ways to get started with Neurobics is to step out of your daily comfort zone. Some habits can already be detrimental to your memory, and cutting them out of your life will make a difference.
When you stop old habits, you are actually using Neurobics to challenge your brain into different thinking patterns. Some ideas to consider include:
- Giving up (or at least cutting down) on television
- Quitting smoking/drinking alcohol
- Changing your eating habits
- Exercising more
When you stop doing some of the things that you have grown comfortable with, you require your brain to stretch, adapt and change. As a result, you will start thinking clearer, become more focused, and remember more things.
Do Something Different
Some Neurobic exercises are things that you can do in just a few minutes each day – the equivalent of doing 50 jumping jacks in a five-minute work break. Things like solving a crossword puzzle, writing in a journal or giving yourself a High Five in a mirror can all fire up the neurons in your brain. Even yoga and/or meditation can force you to push away the “cluttered” thoughts that are in your head and require you to focus on one particular thing.
The places you go and the experiences that you jump into can be considered as Neurobic activities. Anything that challenges your mind and causes you to think differently about something is a great way to stretch your brain.
These could include going to a museum, a zoo, a musical performance, or even different cultural festivals. Allowing yourself to be open to new ideas and experiences is one of the best ways to exercise your brain and improve your memory.
Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do.”
While one of the biggest benefits of Neurobics is improved memory, it is certainly not the only “perk” to this type of mental exercising. Neurobics can also help you to face your fears, live without regrets, and experience a fuller, more meaningful life.
They can give you the courage to take more chances and experience the rewards. They can turn you into a better leader. Most importantly, Neurobics can inspire you by changing the way you see the world around you.
If you are already passionate about your physical health, it could be time to start thinking about your mental fitness, too! Whether you want to improve your memory as you get older or just want to keep your mind as sharp as possible now, trying Neurobics is a great way to “stay in great mental shape”.
Use some of the exercises listed here to get started. You might be surprised by just how quickly your focus and memory will start to improve.
8 Great Ways To Reward Your Employees
Employee engagement is more than a current trend – it is something that more businesses across the globe are starting to value for plenty of good reasons. When employees feel happy and appreciated, they are more likely to be productive and loyal to your company.
While basic benefits packages are still important, it is now more important than ever to go above and beyond for the people working for you. Not only can great rewards help you to hire the best talent, but they will also make your business environment a positive one where people will actually enjoy coming to work and do their best.
The great part about rewarding your employees is that you can let your creativity shine. Think about practical, functional rewards that your employees will actually use and appreciate. Then, don’t be afraid to have some fun with your ideas.
Feeling stuck? Not sure where to get started? Let’s cover some great ways to reward your employees.
1. Make Your Gratitude Public
Sometimes, the simplest gestures can make the biggest difference. If you really want your employees to feel good, make sure everyone knows how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication.
So, thank them publicly. The next time you have a company meeting or public event, carve out some time to thank people individually. Giving them a few moments of attention in a public setting is a great way to show them how much that you appreciate them. After all, who doesn’t like to be complimented?
2. Give Time Off
A reward doesn’t have to be something tangible to be valuable. If your employees have been working hard, reward them with some extra time off. It could be a long weekend, a surprise vacation, or even just an afternoon off on a random Tuesday.
If you do decide to reward them with some free time, make sure you let them know how much you appreciate the work that they have been doing. That appreciation, along with getting a break from work, can help them to feel more motivated and productive when they return.
3. The Little Things Count
You don’t need to go overboard with flashy, expensive rewards. Sometimes, it’s the little things that mean the most. Plus, you will be able to give them more frequently.
Hand out things like gift cards to local coffee shops or movie theaters, or give them something practical like a travel mug or ergonomic desk chair. Small gestures can really mean a lot and your employees will remember and appreciate the gesture.
4. Build Community Through Food
Everyone has to eat, but not everyone likes spending money on their lunch or bringing a regular sandwich from home.
One of the easiest ways to reward your employees is to have lunch catered in as often as possible. Not only does it show them how much you appreciate their work, but when everyone eats lunch together, it will build a more positive work environment. Your business benefits all around.
You can take things one step further by making your catered lunches a scheduled event, whether you do it once a week, once a month, etc. It gives people something to look forward to and serves as a constant reminder of your appreciation.
5. Subscription Services
Subscription services have become more popular than ever in recent years. They really grew during the pandemic, when most people started spending more time at home.
Consider signing your employees up for a subscription service you think they would enjoy. Perhaps give them a list of magazines that they can choose from and give them a years subscription for a job well done.
6. Schedule Company-wide Activities
Host company parties, picnics, and other fun events as often as possible. Everyone deserves to have fun after working hard, and it is another great opportunity for your employees to get closer, a build a better bond. Company activities can also help to prevent burnout in the workplace.
Make sure to include certain events that can include employees’ family members so everyone can join in the fun and your workers don’t have to be away from their loved ones. Family picnics, movie nights, bowling tournaments, or even a catered dinner are all great ways to make sure everyone is involved.
7. Extra Responsibility
While more responsibilities might not seem like a “reward” at first, it is how you present it to an employee that makes a difference.
When you sit down to talk to an employee about increasing their responsibilities, make sure they know why. Talk about how much you trust them and their ability to make decisions on their own. Let them know their value as a part of the company, and you take their career goals as seriously as they do.
8. Give Them A High Five
Giving someone a high five should not be confined just to sports. You have probably seen the viral videos of a teacher giving their students a high five as they enter the classroom. You can feel the positivity, genuine excitement and the wonderful energy from these videos. Research has shown that the biggest difference in whether or not someone will enjoy their job and be more productive, is not the amount of vacation time or their salary package. It is when someone has a manager who cares, appreciates and trusts them and makes them feel that they matter. The next time someone hits a target, makes a sale or gives great customer service why not give them a well deserved high five and see how it makes them feel.
While your employees might not regularly expect rewards, that is half the fun of giving them. Boosting morale, no matter how big or small your business might be, will make a big difference in how productive your workers are. It will shape the environment of your entire company, and the best part? It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to reward people for a job well done. Get creative, get personal, and find unique ways to show your employees how much you appreciate them.