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The Art of the Science Behind qChange Series: Giving Gratitude P2

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

Giving Gratitude Generates Genuine Goodness to the Giver

(say that three times fast)

The Art of the Science Behind qChange series highlights the Science behind qChange, while also describing the Art of applying that Science. For reference, in previous weeks we focused on utilizing Nudge Theory to prompt positive behavior from leaders right before critical meetings. Then we walked through how we use Neuro-Linguistic Programming to talk to leaders in a style that resonates with them. In the last two weeks we spent time on Self Determination Theory (SDT) and our core needs that move us towards growth, and finally the critical need for leaders to be more Self Aware. The last few weeks have been focused on the criticality of gratitude in the workplace.

Piglet noticed that even though he had a small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.
A.A. Milne Winnie-The-Pooh

Giving gratitude in the workplace provides huge benefits to the individual receiving gratitude, the team, and the entire organization. There are some really great studies focused on these benefits that we’ll explore in the coming weeks. Today, I’d like to focus on the giver of the gratitude. Turns out there’s significant goodness to the giver of gratitude as well.

Giving thanks is actually hugely beneficial to the person who is handing out the appreciation, as well as the recipient, as paying attention to what we feel grateful for puts us in a positive frame of mind. Research conducted by University of Cal Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons, and author of many books on gratitude, found that those participants who regularly expressed gratitude felt 25% happier. Emmons called gratitude fertilizer for the mind as it can literally change your brain in positive ways. (Yes, this has to be the first article I’ve created that cites Winnie-The-Pooh and Fitbit).

It actually is one of the easiest ways to increase happiness and brain function, and these are two things the world needs! Emmons found that gratitude has all kinds of impacts on the body’s biochemistry. So many great facts in this link, but a couple that caught my eye. Giving gratitude has been shown to reduce stress hormones like cortisol as much as 23%. People practicing gratitude have lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety and depression, better sleep, take more exercise, make healthier food choices, and improve immune function.

In future weeks, we’ll delve into the positive impact gratitude has on the receiver and the organization, but until then, don’t forget to be a giver of gratitude, and reap all the positive benefits that it entails.

John Howes, Ph.D.


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