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 Why Gratitude Matters

 

 

 

Why should we practice gratitude?

Applied positive psychology shows that gratitude is key indicator of success and satisfaction in personal and professional life. Many studies point to a strong association of gratefulness with happiness, the feeling of positive emotions, health improvements, dealing with adversity and our ability to relish good experiences.

Being grateful also helps us build strong relationships by boosting our ability to connect to other people and to feel more comfortable expressing concerns with emotional maturity. When we comfortably share our feelings, we all benefit with constructive communication.

So, how does this happen?

Gratitude helps us overcome our innate negativity bias that is tied into our animalistic fight or flight response. This stress response floods our bodies with stress hormones when we need to outrun a tiger in the wild, but in our daily lives causes these hormones to build up towards chronic stress related diseases. Gratitude counteracts these responses by triggering the “feel good” hormones serotonin and dopamine when we’re out of danger.

These anti-stress hormones help our body stay in balance and long-lasting performance by supporting a healthier blood pressure and heart rate. With gratitude, we control our physical bodies rather than our hormones controlling us. Serotonin also helps us lean on our social connections, and when we constructively vent, we’re actually helping our blood pressure and mental balance, too.

 

Finally, when a manager at work creates a culture of thanking his or her employees, they are more productive, engaged and happily go the extra mile. In one study, employees who heard their boss’s message of gratitude for their efforts made 50% more fund-raising calls in the following week Harvard Health on Gratitude.

 

Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what we have, receive and achieve. Practicing gratitude can be done in many simple ways, and I hope you’ll join in with me to learn how.