The Power of Gratitude
Written by Susie Taylor
Many of us learned about gratitude as a social norm early in life when our parents taught us to say “thank you” for gifts or praise. But did you know that practicing gratitude at a deeper, more intentional level can have powerful impacts on our well-being and resilience?
Benefits of Gratitude
Researchers have studied the effects across a variety of ages, occupations and geographies, and the benefits are significant:
- Reduces perceived stress and depression symptoms
- Increases sense of flourishing, well-being, and satisfaction with life
- Increases positive emotions
- Reduces feelings associated with burnout
- Increases the perception of “communal strength” (something we can all use more of now)
Gratitude may be especially important right now as organizations try to get more creative, innovate and adapt in the new reality. According to psychological research, when we experience positive emotions such as gratitude, we broaden our perspectives and can see new possibilities in the world around us. Positive emotions also help us build new capacities for the future and help us become more resilient during trying times. This “broaden and build” effect means that being intentional about cultivating positive emotions is even more important when we’re facing uncertainty and change.
Gratitude can reduce our feelings of stress and sadness, make us feel happier and more satisfied with our lives, limit burnout, strengthen our relationships, help us see new possibilities, and make us more resilient. Amazing, right? And practicing gratitude is simple, fast and free.
The catch is that it must be a practice. Brené Brown found in her research of wholehearted people that those who benefited from gratitude did not merely have an attitude of gratitude—they had a dedicated gratitude practice. The infographic below offers effective practices you can add to your day easily, so you can start reaping the many benefits.