Merge's Blog

Resilient people have an attitude of gratitude, even during tough times

I’ve blogged previously about how important it is to build resilient employees, but my guest blogger today wrote the book on the subject! I am delighted that Patricia Morgan, my professional colleague and friend, is here to discuss the topic of workplace resiliency, an issue that is even more critical today, given that so many organizations are facing an economic recession. What happens to the people that get laid off? How do they cope? As Patricia points out, people who are resilient find ways to be grateful, even during a recession!

PatMorganAn Attitude of Gratitude During the Recession

Headline: Suicide rate in Alberta climbs 30% in the wake of mass oilpatch layoffs. CBC News, December 8, 2015.

The increases in depression and suicide are familiar statistics in times of recession. But people with high resilience continue to count their blessings; yes, even during a recession.

They remind themselves of Meister Eckhardt’s quotation, If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you,’ it will be enough.

Our young next door neighbor was recently laid off from a job she loves. Fortunately, she was prepared to cut back on child care and other expenses. Also, she is wise enough to appreciate what is left for her and her family to enjoy.

When was the last time you made note of your good fortune? It is the most economical and easily accessible way to avoid depression, especially in tough economic conditions. I feel grateful when I think of living in Canada, our welcoming home, my supportive and long-term marriage, my friends, the travel I have done, my work, and the qualities I have had the privilege to develop. One way to list your blessings is in three categories.

Three Categories of Blessings

I feel grateful for what I:

  • Have: a warm and secure home, a sweet, gas efficient car, and loving family and friends.
  • Do: write, speak, provide counseling, support family, and nap.
  • Have become: creatively expressive.

Researchers, Dr. Robert Emmons and Dr. Michael McCollough, authors of The Psychology of Gratitude, discovered a number of benefits in recalling our blessings. Their research included hundreds of people’s recordings. A first group kept a diary describing daily events, a second group recorded unpleasant events while a third made daily lists of gratefulness.

Benefits of Recording Gratitude

Daily gratitude resulted in:

  • improved alertness
  • increased energy
  • increased exercise
  • better sleep
  • increased enthusiasm
  • increased determination
  • increased optimism
  • decreased depression
  • decreased distress
  • more motivation to help others
  • more goal achieving
  • feeling more loved
  • increased cycles of gratitude—one act inspired another

Here are some tips to help you deepen your gratitude and experience the benefits listed above.

A Dozen Ways to Boost Your Gratitude Attitude

  1. Recognize you have experienced a positive benefit of your situation. Hey, no excuses here. If you are reading this you live in a privileged country which provides you the ability to access the World Wide Web.
  2. Acknowledge that the benefit came from outside yourself—usually from another person, organization, geography or the abundance of planet earth.
  3. Recognize that the benefit was not necessarily earned or deserved.
  4. Say Thank you often and with meaning.
  5. List what you have for which you feel grateful.
  6. List the relationships for which you feel grateful
  7. List the experiences for which you feel grateful.
  8. List what you see, hear, taste, smell, and touch for which you feel grateful.
  9. If you do not already, use a grateful word or two before eating your daily food.
  10. Each night record your blessings; 5 at night in a Grateful Diary or your regular journal.
  11. If you sleep with a sweetie, before turning the light off, express appreciation.
  12. View the Canadian video of Original Gratitude Dance and join in

Boost your Gratitude Attitude at Work

  1. List work activities for which you feel grateful.
  2. List co-workers who whom you feel grateful.
  3. List your strengths, qualities, skills and abilities (and those who mentored you along the way) for which you feel grateful.
  4. Take someone to lunch for whom you feel grateful. Perhaps write a note or letter describing what he or she says and does that you appreciate.
  5. Wake each morning noting your gratefulness for employment and accompanying finances.
  6. If you are unemployed adapt an attitude of gratitude for time to explore possibilities you never before imagined.

May your blessings be many and may you notice them!

On that note, how do you develop your attitude of gratitude? How do you build your resiliency? Please share.

To contact Patricia and learn more about her keynotes and workshops, visit her website at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.