The Power of Gratitude and Ways to Practice it in the Workplace
When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around – Willie Nelson.
In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive much more than what we give, and it’s only when we consciously pay attention to it, life reveals itself in its full grandeur. Our body and mind are in a complex interrelationship affecting each other’s healthy functioning.
The brain and peripheral nervous system, the endocrine and immune systems, and indeed, all the organs of our body and all the emotional responses we have, share a common chemical language and are constantly communicating with one another”, says Dr. James Gordon (founder of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine).
Our thoughts, feelings, attitudes affect our biological functioning, and similarly, what we consume, our lifestyle choices, etc., affect our mind. Positive psychology has gained a lot of traction in recent years, with a plethora of researches and studies going into the benefits of having a positive mind and attitude towards life. Theories like Biocentrism, Placebo effect, etc. support that, and one particular thought that promises an upward spiral in your psychology and physiology, when practised regularly, is gratitude.
What is gratitude?
It is a state of mind, a feeling of your heart where you are thankful for what you have. There has been extensive research corroborating the positive mental and physical effects garnered through the practice of gratitude. Read complete research.
Some of which are shown explained below.
Gratitude makes you more resilient towards trauma
Practising Gratitude makes you emotionally stronger, increasing resilience. According to a 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy, Vietnam war veterans, practising gratitude experienced lower post-war trauma and stress disorders.
Gratitude improves your mental well-being
According to a study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, gratitude augments mental health by rendering meaning to life. Also, People were found more resilient to the incidents of suicide.
Gratitude augments physical health
According to a 2003 study, in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people who were practising gratitude reported fewer health disorders, physical illnesses, and exercised more.
Gratitude helps you keep stress-free
According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, on fostering positive emotions, gratitude helps lower stress hormones, i.e., observing a 23% reduction in cortisol and a 100 % surge in DHEA/DHEAS levels.
Gratitude helps you sleep better
According to a 2009 study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, practising Gratitude improved the quality of sleep with longer sleep hours.
Gratitude improves emotional well-being
A study in the Journal of Research in Personality stated that gratitude helps curb depression, resilient towards self-destructive habits like suicide, lower depression, and leads to higher levels of social support.
Gratitude results in a healthier and stronger heart
According to researches, gratitude leads to better cardiovascular health, more exercise time leading to better health, and reductions in inflammatory biomarkers. Check out the complete details of research here.
Gratitude augments your work performance
According to a study by Harvard Medical School, gratitude improved productivity by increasing job satisfaction. Employees were more dedicated, productive, felt more appreciated, and were able to perform to the best of their abilities. You can read about the importance of employee appreciation and tips.
How to practice gratitude at the workplace?
• You can keep a gratitude journal.
• Create a shared document at your workplace, making everyone write one thing they are grateful for each day, for 21 days.
• Create a personal wall or bulletin board at work, where you can keep a visual reminder of things, places or people you are thankful for, keeping it in sight every day.
• Get a gratitude partner to help you sustain the practice.
• Thank people, whenever needed.
In a world plagued with fear, negativity, and hatred, positive psychology might work as fireflies in a forest, to keep your mental and physical health afloat.
Let’s start promoting gratitude in the workplace to form a positive culture, which will eventually enhance the productivity and engagement of your workforce.