I’m not a productivity specialist, I would say I’m more of a Gratitude advocate, but having listened to so many stories about tense and dissatisfying working environments and experiences, I thought of sharing this article written by Robert Emmons in Greater Good Magazine, that talks about the benefits that gratitude may have at work.
According with the information from several studies Emmons shares in his article, having a grateful attitude, will:
a. Facilitate a better sleep
Although these days it’s frequent to find people under chronic sleep deprivation, as most people is sleeping less than 6 hours a day, according to the information shared by Emmons, lost sleep quantity and quality is linked to poor job satisfaction, worse executive functioning, less innovative thinking, lower occupational performance, more safety errors and work injuries and even death, while sleep deprivation also negatively affects relationships because sleep-deprived people are less trusting of others and more impatient, frustrated, and hostile.
On the other hand, grateful thinking and moods may help you sleep better and longer, as research suggests that grateful people have more positive pre-sleep cognitions and fewer negative pre-sleep cognitions, which is important because critical thoughts tend to induce sleeplessness and pleasant thoughts promote sleepiness.
In summary, grateful people enjoy more restful, restorative, and refreshing sleep and reap the benefits at work the next day.
b. Reduce the excessive entitlement
Emmons states that, excessively entitled people feel they deserve more than others, disproportionately to what would be considered appropriate and are dissatisfied with whatever they receive, whether it is pay, promotions, or praise.
On the work place they tend to engage in more counterproductive behaviors, including aggression, violence, deliberate poor performance, threatening, abusing and blaming others, alongside gossiping, complaining and negativity.
Emmons explains that a person who feels entitled to everything will be grateful for nothing, as gratitude is the antidote to entitlement and other aspects of toxic workplace culture.
On the other hand, as gratitude produces higher levels of positive emotions that are beneficial in the workplace, such as joy, enthusiasm and optimism and lower levels of destructive impulses, such as envy, resentment, greed and bitterness, grateful individuals live in a way that lead to the kind of working environment we long for, says the author. He even refers to recent research that shows that when people is experiencing gratitude, they are approximately 20 to 30 percent less likely to be annoyed, irritated and aggressive.
c. Drive you to contribute more to your organization
Gratitude as a driver of kind and helpful behavior, says Emmons, therefore, in the work place grateful people are inspired to be helpful, avoiding behaviors that are harmful. They are more likely to volunteer for extra work assignments, take time to mentor coworkers, be compassionate when someone has problem, and encourage and praise others.
In addition, Emmons states that gratitude also drives enhanced performance in the cognitive domain, in consequence, grateful people are more likely to be creative at work, promote innovative thinking, flexibility, openness, curiosity, love of learning new information and skills, and seek opportunities to learn and develop.
Although there’s still a lot to be learnt about gratitude and its impact on all areas of our life, the more research is done, the more the value and importance of a grateful attitude is shown. Thus, don’t wait for more research to be conducted, you can begin to reap the benefits of gratitude now, by being grateful for who you are, what you have lived and achieved so far and all the blessings and advantages you enjoy daily.
You can read the whole article Three Surprising Ways That Gratitude Works at Work by Robert Emmons here