Gratitude – is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one will or has received. At this holiday time, we focus on what we are thankful throughout the year. We get together with family and friends to share a special meal and offer thanks for our blessings. But some practice this every day, in the simplest of situations.
Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Not only does saying “thank you” constitute good manners, but showing appreciation can help you attract new friends, according to a study published in Emotion. The study found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. So whether you thank a stranger for holding the door or you send a quick thank-you note to that co-worker who helped you with a project, acknowledging other people’s contributions can lead to new opportunities.
One study from Harvard University and Wharton showed that receiving a “thank you” from a supervisor boosted productivity by more than 50 percent. Yet people are less likely to show gratitude at work than anywhere else — only 10 percent of people who express gratitude make it a daily habit at work and 60 percent of people never or rarely express gratitude at work.
Gratitude may also serve to reinforce future prosocial behavior in benefactors. A study by Oracle shows 86% of shoppers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. For example, Carey and colleagues (Carey, Clicque, Leighton, & Milton) found that customers of a jewelry store who were called and thanked showed a subsequent 70% increase in purchases. In comparison, customers who were thanked and told about a sale showed only a 30% increase in purchases, and customers who were not called at all did not show an increase. Rind and Bordia found that restaurant patrons gave bigger tips when their servers wrote “Thank you” on their checks.
Although gratitude is something that anyone can experience, some people seem to feel grateful more often than others. People who tend to experience gratitude more frequently than do others also tend to be happier, more helpful and forgiving, and less depressed than their less grateful counterparts (Kashdan, Uswatte, & Julian; McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang; Watkins, Woodward, Stone, & Kolts). It's easy to do. Begin today!
“Hem your blessings with thankfulness
so they don’t unravel.” - Author Unknown