grat-i-tude: The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

We don’t always have control over what happens at work but we do have control over how we react. We can choose to respond to difficult or challenging situations in a way that is uplifting rather than disheartening, constructive instead of destructive.

That’s where gratitude comes in. When we practice gratitude we are more content; we feel better about our lives. This does not mean we put our heads in the sand and avoid reality. We see the problems at work and at home, and we choose to shift our focus onto what is whole, and away from what is broken.

Gratitude is a state of mind that gets stronger with practice. Here’s a list of a few ways people practice gratitude in the workplace. Maybe you can think of more ways.

Seven Ways to Show Gratitude at Work

  • Say thank you.
  • Be helpful.
  • When you feel stressed, find something to be grateful for—the sun shining in a window, a comfortable chair, the calm provided by slowly breathing in and out.
  • Appreciate what is working instead of obsessing over what isn’t.
  • Take time to notice good things around you and appreciate them.
  • Pay attention to your co-workers. Take appropriate interest in their work and their lives.
  • Don’t complain. Complaining is the antithesis of gratitude. Find constructive ways that include solutions to talk about problems.

You might even start a gratitude jar. Whenever you feel grateful for something, write it on a slip of paper and put it in a jar. If co-workers ask about your jar, tell them you are practicing gratitude. Then thank them for their interest!