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An Attitude of Gratitude

11/3/2011 1:31:06 PM

I worked in a career where, generally speaking, great results were expected and disappointing results were met with wrath.  I know I’m not the only one who has experienced this. You see it in service businesses all the time. More often than not, the moment service is below expectations, heads start to roll. Even if the customer service person is not to blame, he or she takes the brunt and ridicule on behalf of the entire company. That’s an unfortunate and unhappy position to be in!
At some point, probably later than I care to admit, I realized this isn’t right. Granted, we ought to expect good service, but we can still treat people with respect when we’re disappointed. We can also go out of our way to express our appreciation when things go well!
Consider the following proven benefits of gratitude:

  • Just 15 minutes a day focusing on the things you’re grateful for will boost your body’s antibodies and contribute to a strengthened immune system
  • Grateful people are more focused mentally and measurably less vulnerable to clinical depression
  • Gratitude induces a physiological state of mind called resonance, associated with healthier blood pressure and heart rate
When you’re grateful, you focus your mind on pleasant, positive thoughts. It helps you appreciate the things that are happening around you. It prevents you from developing an “entitlement” mindset (the feeling that everyone owes you something). It also raises your happiness quotient!

By regularly showing appreciation and gratitude, your outlook will become more positive and you’ll be much more fun to be around. After all, who wants to be around a complainer? Thankful people make the people around them happier too, and ultimately attract more friends and opportunities as a result.

If I’ve changed for the better in recent years, it’s that I make a more concerted effort to express appreciation and gratitude to others. Their reactions make it all worthwhile! Whether it’s a simple compliment, call, card, note, or email, expressions of gratitude are uplifting and deeply appreciated. I regret taking so long to embrace this, not only because of how it makes others feel, but also for how it has changed me. Imagine how the world would be if we all took this to heart!

So, this week, be on the lookout for opportunities to show your gratitude. Then, make it become a way of life!
Do you routinely compliment others and express your appreciation? How has it affected you and others?

Tagged as: gratitude, relationships, communication, integrity, life skills, thanksgiving

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