Last week I posted about how gratitude can help your employees feel appreciated and motivated. But gratitude isn’t just about making others feel good. Dozens of studies over the last decade have shown that gratitude — for anything, not just work stuff — is a key component of happiness.
For instance, psychological research has shown that:
-gratitude is statistically linked to happiness, pride, and hope in a college freshmen;
-gratitude is a key component of “subjective well-being” in adults;
-a lack of gratitude is characteristic of narcissistic personalities; and
-people who feel grateful are 25 percent happier than those who aren’t (and also tend to sleep better)
Why is gratitude so important? To put it most simply: Developing a sense of gratitude allows you to see the good aspects of your life, which allows you to be more content. This, in turn, helps you to get along with people more easily: Research shows, in fact, that grateful people are more likely to be emotionally supportive of others, as well as kind and helpful.
As such, cultivating gratitude is important to emotional intelligence because it involves a) emotional awareness (“am I grateful or ungrateful”?) and emotional self-regulation (“how can I make myself more grateful, so that I’m happier and more effective in my daily life?”).
That’s good for your personal life, of course. But it’s also good for your business life.
Next up: How to develop an attitude of gratitude.