With the holidays approaching, the common theme around us is gratitude. While being an entrepreneur is no easy task (far from it), it is important to express gratitude year-round.

So, why? Why should entrepreneurs practice gratitude when, at any given moment, we’re seconds away from closing our office door and having a good cry session from the stress (I know I can’t be alone in this!). Well, one very good reason to practice gratitude is it can help you feel better.

It builds good energy: Studies show that those who express gratitude have fewer aches and pains, fewer physiological issues, and get better rest, all while boosting self-esteem and productivity.  All these things, in turn, leading to a more successful leader on the team.

It lets you reflect on your journey: As entrepreneurs, our path (and our time) is not linear at all. It’s easy to get caught up in the thick of it all. Being an entrepreneur is a lesson in itself with all the experience we go through. Stop and realize how far we’ve come. No, we may not be exactly where we want to be, yet, but stopping to acknowledge where we are and how far we’ve come can be instrumental in helping us relax so we can give more not only to our business but ourselves.

It helps you realize what truly matters: Sometimes, the things that we focus our attention on are the trivial things that bring us down so much, while underappreciating the things that can actually bring true joy and happiness. Comparing our Instagram accounts with that other girl’s account, with all of her likes and followers. Getting down on ourselves because we didn’t hit our sales goal that week. Even feeling guilt for taking a much-needed day off. These thoughts don’t serve us, yet they are always there.  If your business took a plunge overnight (certainly not wishing that on you), what would you be left with? Focus on appreciating those things.

You’ll see a challenge vs. a setback: As entrepreneurs, we are no strangers to setbacks. But a setback is only a setback if you let it be a setback. If you view it as something that you did wrong or as a failure, then of course it is going to feel like a setback. But if you view it through the lens of gratitude, that setback in now a challenge, and you’ve opened yourself up for reflection and growth. Take it as a challenge to improve how to figure out the next situation that you’ll encounter. Face it head-on, learn from it, and grow.

 

It makes you a better boss: Have you ever been in a work environment where you feel unappreciated or undervalued? If not, that’s great! Though, according to a study, 71 percent of employees feel unappreciated and, in turn, are not fully engaged at their jobs.  Practicing gratitude through appreciation, not criticism, will help combat a lack of engagement and motivation. Thank your employees when they’ve done a good job, listen to and appreciate their feedback and opinions on the company, and understand that even your top-performing employee needs the occasional personal day. All these things can show you care, and show your team of support that they are valued and appreciate. By doing this, loyalty, engagement, and productivity will surely follow.

What is one thing that you can do to practice gratitude today?