“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I just finished a book titled Leading with Gratitude by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. It’s primarily directed toward managers and business executives, explaining how expressing gratitude to employees will result in increased productivity, better morale and less turnover. If you read the book, you’ll find there is plenty of research to support these findings.
And there is more! Gratitude is good for the person expressing it as well. The authors recommend keeping a daily journal of the things you are thankful for. Several studies of more than 2000 people shows:
“The benefits of counting blessings are tangible, emotionally and physically….People are 25 percent happier and more energetic if they keep gratitude journals, have 20 percent less envy and resentment, sleep 10 percent longer each night and wake up 15 percent more refreshed, exercise 33 percent more, and show a 10 percent drop in blood pressure compared to persons who are not keeping these journals.”
What a simple way to improve our lives! In addition, another researcher, has this to say about the relationship between gratitude and joy.
“In my twelve years of research on eleven thousand pieces of data, I did not interview one person who had described themselves as joyful who did not actively practice gratitude.”
The last chapter of the book is called Taking It Home. The authors recommend that we practice showing appreciation not only in our work lives, but with our friends and family and yes, even others with whom we come in contact. Here are some of their suggestions:
- Make a commitment to give some undivided attention to your loved ones
- Be excited to see them
- Give immediate positive feedback to family members
- Give them a break (we all make mistakes)
- Be grateful to your spouse
- Practice random gratitude (smile at people, say thank you, remember someone’s name)
- Be grateful for obstacles and even cranks (remember my previous post about how obstacles are opportunities? see An Opportunity?
- Serve others together
- Smell the roses
- Write letters of appreciation
Of course, if you’re a Christian, none of this is surprising. As you can see in the apostle Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians which I listed at the beginning, we are to give thanks in everything. So, I agree with the authors and I say wholeheartedly, practice gratitude and take it with you. Take it everywhere you go and spread it around as much as you can. You’ll be a happier person, and so will those around you.