With Thanksgiving behind us, most of us are not only still full of turkey, but gratitude as well. While most of us know that being grateful is generally a good rule of thumb, we don’t realize that it can actually help both our well being and our relationships with others.
University of California, Davis professor, Robert A. Simmons, who is the world’s leading expert on gratitude, has spent much of his professional career studying how being grateful can affect our lives. Over the course of three weeks, Simmons studied more than one thousand people, both old and young, to find that being grateful provided an abundance of benefits by boosting immune systems, giving more joy and pleasure and decreasing the feeling of loneliness.
Being grateful can also benefit our professional lives. Several business leaders and entrepreneurs who have achieved a great deal of success all report that they remember to be thankful for their achievements. According to a Business Insider article, multi-billionaire John Paul Dejoria makes it a point to be thankful every single day. “For the most part, I can’t tell you how important it is to take those first five minutes of the day and be thankful for life,” he states.
Others such as Oprah Winfrey, Tim Ferriss and Richard Branson also agree that the practice of being grateful contributed to their success. Ferriss in particular uses the five-minute journal routine, in which on a daily basis he writes three things for which he is grateful. “The five-minute journal is a therapeutic intervention,” he says, “that allows me to not only get more done during the day, but to also feel better throughout the entire day, to be a happier person, to be a more content person.”
Showing gratitude may seem trivial, but its rewards are well documented. Frankly, we do not only have to show gratitude for the “big picture” moments in life; appreciating the little moments can be just as effective. Thanksgiving has reminded us all that we have a lot for which to be grateful. Let’s use this opportunity to infuse a ‘mini-Thanksgiving’ moment in our daily routine and enrich both our personal and professional lives.