How can something as simple as saying “thank you” improve relationships, productivity, and performance in the workplace during the job of a locksmith? Until recently, the study of gratitude focused almost exclusively on the attitudes and behaviors of individuals. But now, an increasing number of psychologists are turning their attention to so-called “institutional gratitude,” which occurs when gratitude and appreciation are embedded in the organizational culture through the usual aspects of daily work life. And it is in this scenario that the kind of difference gratitude can make in a work environment is illustrated.
Should we bet on gratitude?
If you are interested in creating a culture of gratitude, you are probably wondering if it is worth the effort. After all, organizations have a long history of using coercive elements like sanctions and fear as motivation. That approach often achieves immediate results, but it comes at a high price.
The overwhelming evidence shows that gratitude-based organizations are far more productive and profitable in the long run. That is because gratitude appeals to basic human needs.
THE SCIENCE OF GRATITUDE
Imagine what this world would be like if all of us adopted an “each for himself” attitude. As the sociologist, Georg Simmel noted, “If all actions of gratitude were suddenly eliminated, society would break down.” History is full of examples of natural disasters that led individuals to act selflessly in the interest of all. These actions link the communities through a spirit of mutual solidarity.
GRATITUDE STIMULATES THE BRAIN AND BODY
Gratitude just makes you feel good, right? There is a scientific reason for that. Gratitude activates a region of the brain known as the nucleus acumens. When activated, it releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which makes us feel good. It also makes us feel happier and healthier.
SCIENCE SUGGESTS THAT GRATITUDE CAN BE TAUGHT
Anyone can experience the benefits of gratitude, it does not require any special skills, according to Professor Martin EP Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania, founder of Positive Psychology. Through his studies, Seligman found that optimists generally live healthier and more successful lives. He concluded that while negativity is easy, people can learn to think and act in ways that promote their own happiness and well-being.
In addition, studies show that the benefits of gratitude extend to both whoever gives it and whoever receives it, so that virtuous cycle spreads to others. And like kindness and a smile, gratitude is also tremendously contagious.
PERSONAL BENEFITS OF PRACTICING GRATITUDE:
• Stronger immune system
• Less pain and discomfort
• Low blood pressure
• Longer and more restful sleep
• Availability to exercise more.
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• Perception of being more alert and more alive.
• Experience of greater joy and pleasure
• Feelings of optimism and happiness
• Impression of feeling less lonely and isolated
• Greater willingness to forgive
• More openness towards outgoing behavior
• Feeling of being a more helpful and generous individual with compassionate behavior