A simple ‘thank you’ is a crucial part of our everyday lives, allowing us to show our gratitude for common courtesies. But for many people, those two tiny words allow them to take bigger, deeper forms and feelings of gratitude for granted. Life is busy and it can be tough to grab a few moments to sit back, look around and take note of all the blessings in our lives and the people that make those blessings a reality.
Research shows people who practice gratitude daily benefit in countless ways. They’re more positive, experience more joy, optimism and happiness, feel less lonely and have more compassion. And when it comes to health and wellness, grateful people have stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure. One study even shows daily gratitude reduces stress hormones by 23 percent.
And in the workplace? Well, gratitude is powerful. Not only does gratitude result in a positive, healthy work environment, grateful teams may be less stressed and more successful. Studies show happy salespeople sell 56 percent more than their neutral or unhappy coworkers and happier doctors even diagnose more accurately. No matter how you slice it, gratitude is a win-win for everyone involved. You just can’t afford not to start a daily gratitude practice in your work life.
Just start. Regardless of your title, profession or work environment, the time is now to start being thankful every single day. Make it a daily practice, ideally at the end of your workday, to reflect upon the good things that have happened and who you want to reach out and thank. You might owe special thanks to a coworker or superior or maybe a client deserves your gratitude. Jot down who and what you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal, and then add line items to your next day’s to-do list to make sure others feel your gratitude, too.
Get personal. If you leave your desk each night with a list of people to thank in the morning, it’s simple to start your next day full of gratitude. Leave no stone unturned, say thank you wherever thank you is due. Visit, call, write an email or—gasp!—a handwritten note to let a team member or client know just how they’ve made a difference in your day, project or life. You’ll both feel great and be inspired to do more good work together.
Make gratitude official. If you’re in a position to do so, challenge those around you at work to start a daily gratitude practice as well. Share your gratitude on an internal social network, an email thread or in regular meetings. Make gratitude an ongoing component of office happenings and before you know it, you’ll not only benefit from your own practice, you’ll have a gratitude-based culture of happy, healthy, successful team members.