The Science of Thankfulness
It’s almost Thanksgiving! Though this day is officially an American holiday it has morphed into a worldwide cultural phenomenon used as an opportunity to gather with loved ones, cherish quality time over a home cooked meal and give thanks. But what is it about a day of love and gratitude that’s so powerful it has crossed borders and enmeshed itself into foreign traditions? Turns out there is a beneficial science to being thankful which can explain why this day is revered all over the globe.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, expressing gratitude can make you happier. Several studies show a correlation between expressing gratitude and owning a better sense of well-being. People who practice regular habits of gratitude, like keeping a daily gratitude journal, or physically writing thank you letters, are more likely to invest in health habits like consistent exercise and maintaining healthy nutrition.
In the workforce studies have shown that when management regularly takes the time to individually thank workers for a job well done, they have found an increase in motivation, performance and productivity by up to 50%. That simple act of gratitude addresses a deep human need for esteem and belonging. Employees that feel appreciated value their positions more and work more productively.
Giving thanks also helps with stress management as it aids to regulate depression and helps to keep that “feel-good” feeling around for longer. It’s been shown that gratitude assists in a change of perception that can manifest feelings of optimism and positivity. Think about it, when was the last time you felt overwhelmed with gratitude and anger at the same time? Also, with the reduction of stress comes the reduction of adverse effects from stress including depression, anxiety, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
With the benefits of gratitude, it should be obvious why instilling a daily practice of giving thanks has the potential be life changing. A simple daily gratitude practice can make all the difference in you achieving your goals, building your relationships or even maintaining your physical health. So what are some ways we can start making gratitude a part of our everyday life instead of purposely celebrating thankfulness one day a year?
Gratitude Journal – Keeping a daily journal where you write down 3 things in the morning and 3 things before bed help to train your neurons to develop the connections needed to maintain a positive state of mind. The key to this exercise is consistency. Try to do this every day for 21 days and see if you can detect any changes. And don’t be afraid to use your journal as a reminder for all you’re grateful for by going back and reading old entries.
Thank You Letters – As mentioned, this is an impactful practice. Write a letter to someone, anyone that has impacted you and tell them why you are grateful to have them in your life. Not only does this improve your own sense of gratitude but studies show that this practice can improve your connections with others. Try to do this at least once a month for a whole year.
Mental Thanks – You can do this as frequently as you like! Thank others in your mind. Really focus and meditate on the person, what they did that you appreciated, and how grateful you felt. This is an excellent regular habit that you can get into and will help you to notice the little things like that guy who gave you a break in traffic or that person who let you jump ahead of them in line at the grocery store.
If you really want to build some life changing soft skills, you can also sign up for 2020 Insight which is a 30 Day Communication and Stress Management program hosted by Goalmachine and Executive Business Services. In it you will not only develop the tools and skills needed to more effectively communicate but in the stress management portion of the program you will also get detailed techniques in gratitude and mindfulness that will take your sense of wellbeing to the next level. The program starts with a one day intensive training on December 7th followed by 30 Days of simple but effective challenges that you complete at home. Don’t worry, we will guide you every step of the way! By the end of the 30 days you will see a vast improvement in your communication skills, stress levels and your sense of gratitude. Price for the entire program is $395. To register Whatsapp +1(721) 522 5121, Visit any EBS location in the Orange Grove Shopping Center or on the Bush Road, or Inbox GoalmachineSXM on Facebook.