What Are You Grateful for Today?
by Gustavo Araujo, Vice President of Supply Chain on Jul 24, 2018
This entry first appeared on Rogers Corporation’s internal “Leadership Blog.” Our CEO, Bruce Hoechner, and his senior leadership team write weekly posts for Rogers’ intranet, generating many likes and comments from colleagues around the globe.
This blog was written by Gustavo Araujo, Rogers’ Vice President of Global Supply Chain, and has been edited for external publication.
I believe that one of the most valuable programs we have at Rogers is the Thank You Awards. What I like the most about the program is that it offers a way for our employees to demonstrate their gratitude to one another for efforts that go above and beyond their day-to-day activities. It is fascinating to see the great things our employees are doing every day and, even better, seeing that their colleagues are paying attention and thanking them for their dedication. Every day I read two or three Thank You Award stories and I really enjoy them.
This is what prompted me to write this week’s blog. The importance of gratitude not only in our workplace but in our homes, in schools, in stores, in everyday situations.
Why should anyone thank you for just doing your job? And why should you ever thank your coworkers for doing what they’re paid to do?
Since we spend most of our time at work, it’s a perfect place to practice gratitude! Human nature makes it easier to be grateful when we have good days. But I think we should practice being grateful even if we are having an “off” day. It can actually lift you to find something to be grateful for in the midst of difficulty.
I’d like to share an article that appeared in Forbes magazine written by Amy Morin, “Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude that will Motivate You to Give Thanks Year-Round.”
- Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. Not only does saying “thank you” constitute good manners, but showing appreciation can help you win new friends, according to a 2014 study published in Emotion, the magazine of the American Psychiatric Association. 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 send a thank-you note to that colleague who helped you with a project, acknowledging other people’s contributions can lead to new opportunities.
- Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.
- Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
- Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a pro-social manner, even when others behave less kindly, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback. They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.
- Grateful people sleep better. Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.
- Gratitude improves self-esteem. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem, an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs—a major factor in reduced self-esteem—grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.
- Gratitude increases mental strength. For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma. A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Recognizing all that you have to be thankful for —even during the worst times—fosters resilience.
So whether it’s through a Thank You Award or simply telling someone you appreciate them, let’s give gratitude a chance. Practice it and enjoy it.
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