Science Proves Gratitude Makes Us Happy
For most, gratitude is a pure outright thank you. For others a half-hearted thank you text or card may seal the deal. But in psychology, it’s is not just an offhand action. Gratitude is a positive emotion that goes a long way in contributing to happiness. The recognition entails more than feeling thankful for an act of kindness or condition because it consists of a deeper appreciation for someone or something. It affirms the graciousness of the giver. When we focus more on the many blessings in our lives, we are more contented, cheerful, and generous. The feeling goes both ways.
The giver derives immense joy from the act, and the receiver appreciates the kindness. Personally, I am extremely grateful. It just kind of happened. As a result, I know I am a happier person, am more empathetic, and have more fulfilling relationships, at work and in my social community.
In a fast-paced world like ours, it is not unusual for daily blessings to go unnoticed. We often overlook the little acts of kindness we experience every day. Small acts of kindness shown daily culminate into a happier life. Whether receiving or giving gratitude, scientific studies prove that the result is immense happiness.
Gratitude increases optimism, and optimism has been proven to boost the immune system. According to a study by Harvard Medical school, those who are optimistic live happier, healthier, longer lives.
Saying thank you may constitute good manners, but showing appreciation may help you create new friendships, as well as live a happier life. A 2014 study discovered that thanking an acquaintance for kindness more often than not makes them seek a deeper relationship with you. It doesn’t matter how small the kindness. Simply acknowledging little deeds leads to new relationship opportunities, and of course, more happiness.
Counting your blessings goes a long way in loving yourself without undue comparison. According to a study, a one-time act of thoughtful appreciation produced a 10% increase in happiness and a 35% reduction in depression.
As an entrepreneur or a team player, gratefulness is non-negotiable. Everyone loves to be appreciated. So think of the world of good it would do your business if you showed more gratitude in your life. Send a thank you email or card. Say thanks when someone goes out of their way to make your life and business easier. Showing gratitude to workers, clients and investors makes you all happier and will give your business the needed boost because everyone you deal with will feel appreciated.
Anne McGurty is a business strategist specializing in creating systems and structures for the creative entrepreneur. She is also a PMP, Project Management Professional, with over 30 years of experience working with corporations and small businesses to improve communication, identify risks, and manage outstanding issues and help keep projects on schedule, adding value, saving time, and money. Anne is passionate about the role of a consultant and coach to her clients and brings a healthy, life balance perspective to her approach as she is a thriving cancer survivor.
In a project that I am currently leading, each day we have a daily huddle. I have incorporated a short quote at the end of each call. This quote or tip is intended to show gratitude to the team by sharing what motivational or inspiration nuggets speak to me.
Cultivating and sustaining an attitude of gratitude goes a long way in helping you achieve happiness since there is virtually no downside to this simple act. Though it may seem tasking at first, it becomes easy with persistence.