By Eric Chitwood | November 23, 2016
As we approach Thanksgiving Day, it is easy to forget the holiday’s purpose when we are busy answering emails, scurrying to meetings, returning phone calls, and generating reports. However, if we all vow to take the time to reflect on the many things that we have to be thankful for, we will see positive results in every area of our work life. Listed below are five of the top reasons that being thankful and displaying gratefulness generates an impressive return on our time and effort:
- Gratitude improves relationships – There seems to be a shortage of good manners these days. Showing appreciation to your colleagues with a smile, a hand-written thank you note or a compliment to a co-worker about a successful project will not only be rewarded in-kind but will endear yourself to even the most rough-edged cube mate.
- Boost in confidence – By being truly appreciative of other people’s accomplishments, our mind reduces negative thoughts of social comparison and competition (me vs. them). Resentment and stress are both factors in reduced mental performance.
- Improved physical health – Not only will grateful people experience less frequent aches and pain than the general public, they are also more likely to be more health conscience, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences.
- Better sleep – taking a few minutes before bed to write down your grateful sentiments in a journal may result in better and longer sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. The overall benefit of a good night sleep cannot be overstated.
- Increase in emotional intelligence – Grateful people act in a more altruistic manner. Those who are grateful are more empathetic and supportive to others, which is a primary trait of an emotionally intelligent person. According to Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence (1995), emotional intelligence is a far better predictor of leadership success than the traditional definition of intelligence.
My hope is that by spreading a spirit of gratefulness this holiday season, we will exploit one of the simplest ways to dramatically improve both your workplace environment and personal life.