You may have heard about the power of gratitude but you may not know that Psychologist, Robert Emmons is leading a research team studying the positive effects of daily gratitude and how it can actually change a person’s life.
Dr. Emmons’ University of California Davis research team says the payoff for gratitude can be significant but the effort also takes mental toughness and discipline. Emmons says that gratitude can literally be measured and has potential consequences for health and well-being.
While Dr. Emmons admits that scientists have been latecomers to the concept of gratitude his team has undeniable evidence that people who keep gratitude journals improve their quality of life. But Dr. Emmons shares that “Far from being a warm, fuzzy sentiment, gratitude is morally and intellectually demanding. It requires contemplation, reflection, and discipline and can be hard work.”
I see gratitude as a major strategy for self preservation and survival in the career world since complaints, frustration, and stress levels are high among both the employed and those searching for work. Dr. Emmons has come up with an evidence based prescription for becoming more grateful.
Here are some of his best gratitude action steps from a post in Society & Culture to get you started on the road to thankfulness.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Write down what you are grateful for every day and when you need to reaffirm your good lot in life, look back on what you wrote.
- Remember the bad. If you don’t remind yourself about the tough times you will be less likely to appreciate the good ones.
- Use visual reminders – kitchen magnets, inspirational posters – anything with gratitude sentiments to remind you how to be grateful.
- Watch your language – it influences how you think about the world.
- Be creative – look for new situations and opportunities in which to feel grateful, especially when things are not going well.
We can all use a gratitude jumpstart. So remember this when you come home from a frustrating day at work or when you are declined a job offer you really wanted. There is always something to be grateful for and your attitude adjustment will prepare you even more for tomorrow when you can begin again.