Gratitude Melts Icy Situations
Davida April 2023
I’ve been having friction with a co-worker. As you can imagine it’s very uncomfortable to pass each other once a week. That five second exchange weighs on my mind for probably 5 days after. First with tension and judgment. It eventually melts into shame and me aspiring to be a better person looking for ways to lighten the situation.
This desire lead me to try micro gratitude! This is the idea of planting seeds of gratitude to prime a situation ahead of time. It’s like cleaning your house before company arrives so they will be comfortable. Instead of allowing them to sit in the middle of your dirty clothes and piled dishes.
Writer Karl Staib wrote in his blog about planting seeds of gratitude and positivity in order to get more out of a situation. For example before meeting with someone, think about what you like about the person. Maybe their smile is nice. Or maybe you are grateful for their time. By softening your heart a head of time you create a positive vibe embracing the other person and setting the tone for the encounter.
Well, I tried that this week. I ain’t gonna lie. It wasn’t sugar canes and unicorns and I’m not sure the co-worker was impacted. But I did feel a little less animosity. I also carried its weight less the days following.
Another tip from Karl Staib is to immediately after your encounter or event, plant seeds of gratitude for what just happened. Memory is wired to hold what’s impactful or negative. By looking back with micro gratitude we can rewire the brain to remember from a better perspective.
Maybe that’s why the situation felt lighter. Quite frankly when I think about what has put us at odds, the whole disagreement seems insignificant.
To keep the momentum going I’ve been planting seeds of gratitude all week. I’ve silently thanked each person in my classes for showing up. I’ve appreciated food servers and cashiers who go out of their way to be cheerful. I even embraced the unexpected spring storm and snapped a lovely photo of my snow covered tulips. They seem bright and cheerful under the blanket of ice. Instead of complaining about the weather, I’m happy to get a few more wears out of my favorite cozy leisure set and the hat my daughter crocheted for me.
As the psychology suggest, I’ve had a wonderful, stress free, and fulfilling week. Try it out!