By Kelly Sargent
Your friends at Tucker Law hope you and those you care about had an abundant Thanksgiving full of good food and warm companionship. It’s a holiday so named to remind us to count our blessings.
But being grateful shouldn’t be reserved for just one day. Harvard Medical School says that gratitude is strongly associated with an increase in happiness. "Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions. relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adverstiy and build strong relationships."
In a study conducted jointly by the University of California and the University of Miami, participants were broken into three groups. One group was asked to write once a week about things that had annoyed or frustrated them. The second group was asked simply to write about what they did during the week. The third group was asked to write about things that had happened during the week that they were grateful for.
After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives, and interestingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to doctors than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
A study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center tested the impact of various positive psychological approaches on 411 participants. When the assignment was to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked for being kind, the participants immediately showed a very large increase in their happiness scores, and the impact was greater than that from any other approach, with benefits lasting for month.
A study of couples found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship. We have to admit that this one seems like a no-brainer.
In the workplace, managers who remember to thank people who work for them may find that those employees feel motivated to work harder. A study at the University of Pennsylvania divided university fund-raisers into two groups. One group made phone calls to solicit alumni donations in the same way they always had. The second group received a pep talk from the director of annual giving, who told the fund-raisers she was grateful for their efforts. During the following week, the university employees who heard her message of gratitude made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who did not.
Although correlation doesn’t prove causation, most studies published support a positive association between gratitude and individual well-being.
If you’re struggling to live in gratitude because you’ve been injured on the job, injured in car accident through no fault of your own, or wrongfully terminated from your job, we're here to help you navigate through those difficult waters.
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