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In our series, One Fun Thing, we’re collaborating with Anne Browning, PhD, associate dean for Well-Being at the UW School of Medicine, to bring you small, specific and low-effort ways to have more fun, plus a question to help you check in with yourself and others, and well-being resources.

What if we could reduce our stress, increase our self-esteem, and improve our resilience through a simple act? Maybe we can with gratitude. Studies show that taking small moments to be thankful can lead to better sleep and healthier hearts.

Many of us have heard of a gratitude journal, but what about a gratitude walk? Or starting your week with a gratitude reflection? Gratitude exercises are easy to incorporate into our lives and have a positive impact on our well-being. At work, gratitude exercises can boost team morale, improve communication and contribute to a positive work environment.

One small thing: exercise gratitude

Gratitude encourages a shift in perspective, helping you see the bigger picture and appreciate the interconnectedness of life. It not only can lead to a more positive outlook, but incorporating small acts of gratitude into one’s life can promote both mental and emotional well-being, strengthen relationships, and has both physical and psychological benefits. Try the exercises below. Gratitude doesn’t need to be prescriptive or planned; it can be a tool you implement when you feel you need a boost.

Question of the month

A way to check in with each other and ourselves. Use this question to connect with co-workers at your next meeting, to start a conversation around the dinner table or as a journal prompt.

What activities, events or interactions at work or home make you feel grateful?