It's far too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of a busy job, workplace, or life, and to forget to take a moment or two every once in a while to give thanks for all we have achieved in our lives-and to those who helped us get there.
According to Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine, authors of the book The Power of Thanks, "Gratitude magnifies the spirit and promotes well-being. In good times and bad, authentic appreciation creates perspective, literally stepping back from the distractions of the moment and affirming something more lasting than passing circumstance."
Here, according to Mosley and Irvine, are 14 scientifically proven beneficial effects of gratitude--revealed after more than two decades of global research.
1. Grateful people achieve more
Research reveals that gratitude can lead to increased determination, energy, enthusiasm, and academic achievement.
2. Grateful people are better corporate citizens
Studies of corporate employees have found that there is a positive relationship between gratitude and corporate social responsibility.
3. Grateful people are less likely to burn out
Researchers have found that managers who provide gratitude and recognition to employees have a lower tendency to burn out in their own jobs.
4. Grateful people pay it forward
People who have been helped with a task are more likely to help others with unrelated tasks.
5. Grateful people are more morally alert
Gratitude encourages social and moral behavior while discouraging disruptive behavior.
6. Giving creates a positive feedback loop
Researchers at the Harvard Business School found that "Happier people give more and giving makes people happier, such that happiness and giving may operate in a positive feedback loop (with happier people giving more, getting happier, and giving even more."
7. Opportunity to give increases commitment to a company
In one study, when employees were given the opportunity to contribute to an employee beneficiary fund, the donors-not the beneficiaries-experienced the greatest increase in commitment to their company.
8. Givers are more engaged
Employees who are empowered to give recognition to their peers are more than twice as engaged as those who are not.
9. Gratefulness increases emotional well-being
Over a period of time, gratitude leads to lower stress and improved individual well-being.
10. Grateful people get along better with others
According to researchers, people who express gratitude are more conscientious, agreeable, open, and extroverted.
11. Grateful people are more resilient to trauma
Gratitude has a major impact on enabling people to maintain emotional well-being after experiencing a traumatic life experience.
12. Grateful people sleep better
Higher levels of gratitude are associated with better sleep patterns-leading to greater energy and optimism.
13. Grateful people are physically healthier
Researchers have found that gratitude reduces symptoms of illness, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens the immune system.
14. Grateful people are less depressed
Studies revealed that people who wrote and delivered a letter of gratitude to someone who had been kind to them-but never properly thanked-showed a boost in happiness and a decrease in depression.