According to Mike McCullough, Director of the Evolution and Human Behavior Laboratory at the University of Miami, it seems gratitude soothes the savage beast in all of us. Not that anyone is actually a beast, but research supports that by showing your employees gratitude, not only does it help them – it also helps you feel happier and remarkably, sleep better.
The New York Times posted this interesting data in a fascinating article by John Tierney, “Findings: A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day“.
“Cultivating an ‘attitude of gratitude’ links to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners. A new study shows that feeling grateful makes people less likely to turn aggressive when provoked.”
Show Gratitude During the Holidays
A Clinical Psychology Review study by Alex Wood et.al lays out the details if you are interested. So if you missed the opportunity to show employees your appreciation at Thanksgiving, the upcoming Holiday season gives you a second chance.
Not feeling it? The Times quotes the University of California, Davis’ Robert Emmons , author of Thanks! and other books on gratitude. Emmons recommends starting out with “gratitude lite.” He and colleague Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami conducted experiments, asking people to keep a brief, weekly “gratitude journal” listing five things they felt thankful for, like a beautiful sunset or a friend’s kindness.
After two months, the journalers were more optimistic, felt happier, reported fewer physical problems and spent more time working out, than control group members . They also fell asleep more quickly at night, slept longer and woke up feeling more refreshed. Wow!
Five Ways to Feel Grateful
The New York Times article includes five tips experts offer for getting in the spirit:
- Do something nice for a family member:
Do one small kindness for a relative at your holiday celebration – listen attentively to yawn-worthy recollections, say thank you for a thoughtful gesture, or express admiration for a talent.
- Turn the other cheek:
If you count your blessings, you’ll be less likely to retaliate if a coworker or family member delivers a typically snarky comment. Say something positive instead and awaken that person’s empathy—they’ll pass the gratitude along.
- Share the wealth:
When you show gratitude, people realize they mean a lot to you, perhaps more than they thought. It’s a great way to uplift yourself and others.
- Pay a gratitude visit:
Write a very specific 300-word letter to someone who has changed your life for the better. Deliver it in person and read it aloud. “You’ll be happier in one month,” guarantees University of Pennsylvania’s Martin Seligman in a New York Times quote from his book, Flourish.
- Seek “deep gratitude”:
The New York Times quotes Emmons: “As a culture, we have lost a deep sense of gratefulness about the freedoms we enjoy, a lack of gratitude toward those who lost their lives in the fight for freedom, a lack of gratitude for all the material advantages we have. The focus of [the holidays] should be a reflection of how our lives have been made so much more comfortable by the sacrifices of those who have come before us.”
Recognize Your Employees
Got your gratitude on? This holiday season, thank your employees for their diligence. Be specific about how their efforts have fostered your organization’s growth and success in 2011. We’ve said it before, but a holiday Turkey Or Ham Certificate of Gratitude from gThankYou says “We appreciate all you do for us”. Pass along the gratitude – you and your recipient will both benefit.
About gThankYou, LLC
gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates are one of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand whole Turkey, at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo, and ship same day.
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