Gratitude in the Face of COVID-19

Let’s not sugar-coat anything. Times are tough.

And yet, amongst the fear and uncertainty there are extraordinary demonstrations of humanity, kindness and selfless effort that helps restore our faith in human nature.

Focus on the Positive

How we feel is very much determined by what we choose to think about and what we choose to focus on. I was reminded of this when I received an email from a successful business consultant. Let’s call him John. He’d read one of my books, Meee In a Minute and was telling me how much it had helped him.

John wrote, “It has been surprisingly tough and the “Chimp” has required some serious management… but in 30 seconds last night, your book has helped again.

John told me that at 3.30am after a sleepless night, he picked up my book and read, “We can all do so much more than we imagine. We can even go beyond what is considered normal, but it often takes a crisis for us to tap into that capacity”, adding, “These 2 short paragraphs have put me right again.”

The Meee in a Minute books are designed as 1-minute coaching books – bite sized nuggets of insight that can ‘put us right again’. For example, minute three explores the idea of Gratitude.

The Power of Gratitude

Psychologist, Sonja Lyubomirsky from the University of California has found that by taking the time to consciously count our blessings and take note of what we are grateful for, even once a week, we are happier and more satisfied. Her colleague Robert Emmons, also found that gratitude improves physical health, boosts our immune system (very important right now) and gives us more energy to combat challenges.

What are you grateful for right now? Are you grateful for your friendships, your partner, your beloved pet or that your loved ones are safe and well? Are you grateful that the sun is shining or that we live in a country that is pulling together in difficult times?

Take a minute, every morning when you wake up to consider what you are grateful for and repeat the exercise before you go to sleep. You’ll be amazed at how this simple exercise can change your outlook and foster optimism.

1-Minute Coaching to Thrive at Work

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In line with the core standards identified in Stevenson and Farmer’s Thriving at Work report we are working with organisations to convert these 1-minute insights into easily accessible tools in the work place. Not only helping to develop mental health awareness among employees, but providing practical information to help us manage our mental health and develop resilience in tough times.

What we all must realise is that negative thought patterns increase cortisol in our system. Cortisol creates a negative feedback loop. This means that when we feel bad, we create more of the stress hormone that makes us feel worse, which creates more cortisol which makes us feel even worse. We must interrupt the negative thoughts in the minute.

Remember, every moment is a fresh opportunity to re-set our system, focus on the positive and keep cortisol at bay. Practicing gratitude is a great place to start.

About the author

Sid Madge spent most of his early life feeling and being excluded. His life was limited by what others said and thought about him. If he had only had a glimpse then of what he was capable of, his early life would have been very different.

That’s why he started The Meee Programme. To date The Meee Programme has helped over 22,000 people become remarkable leaders. From PLC’s to SME’s, schools to universities, prisons to boardrooms Sid Madge is on a mission to make Meee a part of everyone’s life.

Sid believes that the future success of our communities and society is in the hands and minds of us all, but particularly those willing to learn.



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