The holiday season is the perfect time of year for gratitude. Expressing gratitude may be more powerful than you think. Did you know that studies show gratitude can positively impact your physical, mental, and social wellbeing? And that gratitude can actually build skills and improve your career? Read on to discover the power of gratitude and how to incorporate it into your everyday life.
What is gratitude?
Psychology Today defines gratitude as ‘an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has.’ Gratitude expert Robert Emmons states that gratitude consist of two main ideas:
- To reinforce that there is goodness in our lives and world even when things aren’t perfect
- To see that this goodness often comes from sources outside of ourselves
Keep in mind that focusing on expressing gratitude for people instead of things will have more of an impact on your life.
How do I discover gratitude?
Taking the time to reflect on what you are grateful for is the first step in discovering gratitude. Many keep a gratitude journal to write down their thoughts either on a daily or weekly basis. Keep track of those in your personal and professional life that you are grateful for and be sure to express your gratitude. It can be as easy as saying ‘thank you’ to a coworker for their assistance or reaching out to a colleague in your network to show appreciation or offer congratulations on a work success.
What are the benefits of gratitude?
Studies show that gratitude can have a real and lasting impact on both your personal and professional life. Following are some of the benefits associated with gratitude:
- Improves your physical and mental health by decreasing stress levels while increasing energy levels, leading to better immune system health
- Promotes healthy habits such as exercise, good nutrition, and regular check-ups
- Focuses on the positive which improves work performance and office morale
- Improves decision-making skills, self-esteem, and resilience
- Builds stronger relationships with colleagues resulting in better work outcomes
- Strengthens and builds your professional network and future opportunities
Gratitude is powerful and can improve your life, so remember to express your gratitude, both at home and work, now and throughout the entire year.