The Benefits of Gratitude

thank-you-515514_640Last year, I shared the results of a Gratitude Survey I posted on my company’s intranet. It was encouraging to read the various expressions of gratitude submitted by employees across the organization, and each of them reminded me of things I am thankful for. Thanksgiving is, after all, meant to be a time of reflection.

We work so hard throughout the year to get “more.” More customers, accounts, revenue, profit, recognition… The list could go on forever.

It’s easy to forget how much we already have. I think it’s important to stop once in a while and take stock of the great things, and great people, surrounding us right now. What’s the point of working so hard if we never pause to enjoy what we’ve received?

In that same article, I shared seven physical and psychological benefits that stem from cultivating a sense of gratitude. What I didn’t address then was the impact that expressing gratitude has on other people. We benefit from the feeling of gratitude, but we benefit others when we take the time to express our thankfulness for them and for what they mean to us.

When someone says “Thank You” to me, three things always happen:

I experience a boost in energy. It’s always a rush when someone expresses genuine appreciation for something specific I have done for them. It’s like a shot of adrenaline. It makes me feel good about myself and the work I do.

My level of productivity rises. Because of my heightened awareness of the positive impact I have on others, I’m driven to do more. I like feeling useful and valued, so I seek to produce more of this meaningful work in order to replicate that feeling.

I pour more into my next project. Not only does my output increase, but the quality of work I produce improves. Someone is actually paying attention to my efforts, so I want to ensure my game is on point. I want my next contribution to really stand out. 

This year, I’m once again hosting the Gratitude Survey, and I invite you to initiate one of your own. Beyond that though, I hope you’ll take some time this week to act on your gratitude. Shoot an email or make a phone call to let someone know how grateful you are for them. Be specific, and be sincere. You’ll both be better off for it.