5 Ways Gratitude Could Improve Your Career

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It seems like there’s more talk than ever about the importance of gratitude these days. We know that appreciating what’s good about our lives helps us to be more positive in the present and more optimistic about the future. But, there’s a lot more to cultivating an attitude of gratitude than just that, especially where our professional lives are concerned.

So, take a few minutes this Thanksgiving season to consider how being more grateful could substantially improve your career.

1. Gratitude provides some much-needed recognition.

Today’s worker doesn’t often receive the praise and recognition at work that they deserve. A recent survey found that 40 percent of employees, from diverse fields and backgrounds, feel underappreciated at work. That’s bad news for employers, too, because PayScale’s data show that feeling appreciated at work influences employee satisfaction more than any other variable. Employees who feel unappreciated are more likely to leave the company.

Gratitude provides some space for positive reinforcement. In today’s world, you have to take the time to appreciate all that’s good. Too often, employers miss the mark. So, appreciate not just what you have, but also all that you do. Enumerate the ways that you’ve made your workplace better and your business stronger over the course of the last year. Appreciating how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished will help you continue to work hard.

2. It helps you be happier.

They say that it’s not the happiest people who are the most grateful — it’s the grateful people who are the happiest. There’s a lot of wisdom to that. If you want to feel happy about what you have, you first have to feel grateful for it.

Many scientific studies have identified a correlation between gratitude and an individual’s overall sense of well-being. Cultivating a grateful attitude and approach toward your job and career could help you enjoy and appreciate what you’ve got. That, in turn, will help you work toward reaching even greater professional heights.

3. It’s good for your health.

Not only can gratitude make you happier, it can also help you improve your physical health. Stress, and the hormones associated with it, can take a toll professionally. Gratitude works to combat those challenges. Also, UMass Dartmouth identified a link between gratitude and health factors such as regular exercise, sleep and energy levels. Scientists are just starting to discover how gratitude impacts people from the inside out.

Per UMass Dartmouth’s page on The Importance of Gratitude:

There is a complex relationship between thoughts, moods, brain chemistry, endocrine function, and functioning of other physiological systems in our bodies. While an in-depth discussion of this relationship is beyond the scope of this article, suffice it to say that our thoughts can actually trigger physiological changes in our body that affect our mental and physical health. Basically, what you think affects how you feel (both emotionally and physically). So if you increase your positive thoughts, like gratitude, you can increase your subjective sense of well-being as well as, perhaps, objective measures of physical health (like fewer symptoms of illness and increased immune functioning).

4. You’ll gain a new perspective on disappointments.

Gratitude helps you appreciate what’s good — and, it can also give you a new lease on your professional struggles.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gratitude helps you to gain a whole new perspective on how career disappointments, and even failures, have ultimately brought you greater wisdom and more opportunities. Gratitude helps you appreciate your professional journey, with all its ups and downs. This should help you to be more resilient in the future, and maybe more willing to take risks, too — and that will help your career.

5. It will do wonders for your personality and your relationships.

Being grateful can help you develop your personality in a positive way, and that could have a big impact on your professional relationships. Negativity is a real drag. Think about it — who would you rather work with, someone who complains or someone who’s enthusiastic and content in their work?!

Gratitude helps people to feel more positive and optimistic. These are wonderful personality traits to cultivate, and people respond to them. Being more grateful could help you enjoy your job more, and it will likely improve your professional relationships, too. Who knows what opportunities will come to you as a result?

Tell Us What You Think

How has being grateful helped you professionally? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.