What happens when you have an attitude of gratitude? Our women-owned Minneapolis based firm has been travelling the country presenting on the powerful concept of gratitude. We believe that you can live a healthier and happier lifestyle simply by fostering a culture of gratitude at home and in the workplace.
I have a friend who has kept a gratitude journal for twenty years. While she admits there were periods of her life when she put the journal aside, she will also tell you that the moments when she was the happiest are the same as when she was keeping the gratitude journal. Now that she has children, the entire family sits every night to talk and journal their moments of gratitude.
Whether it’s your family, a law firm, a court reporting firm, or another business, life gets busy. Technology has taken over and we’ve lost our direction. When we take a moment to thank the people in our lives or thank a higher power for what we have, our lives improve and we may find that we’re more willing to help others.
Robert A. Emmons, PhD,a professor at the University of California at Davis, and his colleague Mike McCullough at the University of Miami, conducted a gratitude study. Participants were randomly divided into two groups. One group was asked to keep a daily journal of things they were grateful for while the other group was asked to write hassles or things that frustrated them.
Ten weeks later the gratitude group felt better and reported they were 25% happier than the hassled group. Not only that but the gratitude group had fewer health complaints and exercised an average of an hour and a half more than the hassle group.
In a follow-up study, Emmons and McCullough found the gratitude group not only felt better about themselves, they were more willing to help others. Think about the impact on your firm if your teams were more willing to help each other; it will likely change how they serve your clients.
I challenge you to track something that makes you happy every day for 100 days. It’s not my experiment but if you’re game to share your experience, use the hashtag #100happydays and you might get noticed by the movement’s founder Dmitry Golubnichy. Watch his TedxTalk about how the challenge has impacted people’s lives.
Golubnichy suggests starting with the small stuff like the sun on your face or your dog wagging its tail when you enter the room. Instead of looking at your phone, you will begin to notice the world around you. When it comes to the workplace, you may find yourself more appreciative of those around you – the co-worker who brings coffee to the team meetings, the boss who lets you leave early on Fridays in the summer, the assistant who seemingly reads your mind…
When you notice what makes you happy, you will have an attitude of gratitude that I hope expands to all aspects of your life. Are you ready to take on the challenge? Let us know in the comments.