Psychologists have recently paid more attention to the role of gratitude in improving physical and mental health. Gratitude is also a topic of interest in the workplace, as a way to motivate employees and build first-rate teams. While you can’t fix all your problems with positive thinking, research indicates that putting effort into feeling thankful—and, when appropriate, expressing gratitude to others–can be beneficial for health and relationships.
1. Being thankful is associated with a healthier heart and other health benefits. “We found that more gratitude in these patients was associated with better mood, better sleep, less fatigue and lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers,” says the lead author of this study.
2. Thankfulness can help you and your colleagues cope with difficulty. There is scientific evidence that people who feel gratitude can enhance well-being in a way that allows them to better weather stressful times—like when you get a challenging work review, or endure a difficult conversation with your boss.
3. Gratitude increases your employability. I have learned through my work that top employers continue to look for strong Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in their new hires. A strong sense of appreciation is one hallmark of emotional intelligence.
4. Praise and thankfulness is motivating. Giving thanks to others for their efforts is considered a “prosocial” behavior that encourages others to act generously.
There are limits to what an orientation toward gratitude can do. According to one author on the subject, it’s possible to spend too much time on gratitude—especially for someone or something that isn’t worthy.
I’m grateful to everyone who took the time to read this post. Thanks!