We remember when our parents or a grandparent said to us “Say the magic words”. Usually that meant “please”. But there are two additional transnational words, thank you. Who would have expected to words to have so much power? Showing appreciation and acknowledging gratitude in others can have cathartic results. Since ancient times, philosophers have touted the benefits of living a life filled with gratitude. But you don’t have to be Socrates to understand being thankful and demonstrating appreciation adds to overall well-being.
The Harvard Medical School states that “Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible” (Health.harvard.edu, 2020). Whether you say thank you for something that some has done or spontaneously show gratefulness unprompted, that ability to be live in a more positive existence. Further validation in the articles explains “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
Thank you without intent however can come off as insincere and hollow. So, it is important that gratitude and the acts of thankfulness become habitual and organic to your personality. This doesn’t mean thanking people of expected behaviors; it means you are in tune with critical moments that call for you to send and receive the benefits of gratitude. Ask yourself a few check-in questions…
- Do you send hand written note of thankfulness to a colleague, supplier or employee?
- Do you keep a gratitude journal where you memorialize thankfulness?
- Do you mediate, pray or find time to be calm reflection to help center your thoughts and feelings?
- Do you actively and mentally show yourself gratitude for accomplishments made or goals achieved?
- Do you celebrate the small victories and the small steps forward in your life and business?
Different people require acknowledgment in different ways. Find unique and distinct ways to show appreciation. Customers, employees and family members all require different levels and measures so that the gratitude is received for optimal results. Adding gratitude to every pat of your life can add satisfaction and help you reach new levels of effectiveness. Harvard health reminds us “In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves.”
In times of crisis and as life beings to enter a new normal, gratitude will be a useful skill and mindset to help us move us forward. The fear and uncertainty of the pandemic have led many to forget to be thankful for what they have and yearn instead for what we have lost. This becomes the fictitious circle. The less satisfaction or appreciation for the new state, the more you will attract more positive results.
Finding something to thankful for when your business is closed, when your bills are mounting and when the future is unsure, can seem insurmountable. You may have to digger deeper to find small things to be thankful for. Suspension of foreclosures and government assistance with payroll demands are both things businesses can be thankful for, but like most habits that stick, you have verbalized it. Say it out loud, “I am thankful for the resources available to me during the pandemic to get my business reopen and restarted’.
In PositivePsychology.com defined gratitude in an article on May. “Gratitude in a way where scientists can measure its effects, and thus argue that gratitude is more than feeling thankful: it is a deeper appreciation for someone (or something) that produces longer lasting positivity” (Ackerman, 2020).
Ackerman also details the effects on stress increasing a sense of gratitude “…study showed that there was a mean 23% reduction in the stress hormone cortisol after the intervention period. During the use of the techniques, 80% of the participants exhibited an increased coherence in heart rate variability patterns, indicating reduced stress”. Becoming more grateful or allowing more grace into your life can have the following outcomes;
- Enhanced well-being, better Physical and Mental Health
- Deeper Relationships
- Improved Optimism
- Increased Happiness
- Stronger Self-Control
- More Athleticism
Happierhuman.com also outlines the benefits of being more thankful outside your personal life. Business and careers can see tangible improvements by being more grateful. Here are a few benefits;
- Become a more effective manager
- Help you network
- Help you achieve and attain goals
- Improve your decision-making capabilities
- Increase productivity
Find ways to bring more gratitude to your life. Celebrate the smallest of achievements and share that gratitude with those in your circle. Spread gratitude, add a thank you and remember to appreciate life’s opportunities to bring more abundance to you in return.
Brad Sugars the founder and CEO of ActionCOACH also explores the benefit of gratitude in a recent Drive Time video.