As we enter the holiday season, it’s the perfect time to think about expressing gratitude at work. Numerous studies have been done on daily gratitude, and surprisingly, the good feelings that it creates both in the people who express it and the people who receive have been shown to lead to better work, a better outlook, and even better health.
In one study, three groups of people were given the task of keeping a daily journal. The first group was told to write about their daily irritations and grievances, the second group was told to write about the things they were grateful for, and the third group was told to simply write their experiences with no emphasis in either direction. After just ten weeks, the study found that the people who wrote about their gratitude were more optimistic, felt better about their lives, and also exercised more and visited the doctor less.
One of the best things about giving thanks at work is that it is contagious. Another study was done using a group of fundraisers. Half of the fundraisers did their work as usual, but the other half were given a pep talk at the start of the week from the director of annual giving who told them how grateful she was for their efforts. In the following week, the group that got the pep talk made 50% more calls than their colleagues.
Expressing gratitude doesn’t come naturally to everyone. You need to make a habit of it. In order to receive the best benefits and help turn around your outlook, make gratitude part of your daily schedule. Consider keeping a line-a-day journal in which you write down one thing you’re grateful for from that day. You can also schedule weekly emails to your team, telling them what you appreciate most from their work that week.
Little efforts like that will go a long way toward improving your work, your health, and the morale of everyone around you, which includes family, friends, and co-workers. Positive people go further in this life because they bring other people up along with them.
Give your own positivity a boost today by expressing gratitude for what you have, where you’ve been, and what’s ahead.