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    The beauty of the Thanksgiving holiday is that it’s the one holiday that manages to avoid gift-giving. Instead, we come together with family and friends to reflect on those things we’re most grateful for. In the true spirit of thanks, we break bread together. But giving thanks and being truly grateful shouldn’t be something we do only once a year. Practicing gratitude will not only impact your career positively — it can completely change your life.

    When we think of gratitude, many of us associate the word and concept with religious practice. And, while there is a “moral” component embedded in the notion of gratitude, there have been numerous wide-ranging scientific studies that show a direct correlation between gratitude and human happiness.

    The benefits of having a grateful disposition

    Practicing gratitude has many benefits. In addition to career benefits, being grateful can contribute to emotional gratification. There are social, personal, and even health benefits which come from consciously and actively maintaining a spirit of gratitude.

    • Emotional benefits. Gratitude results in good and more positive feelings. We’re more relaxed, less envious, and ultimately more resilient. Gratitude deepens the whole range of human emotions making us better able to enjoy our interactions with others, resolve difficult situations, and move on.
    • Social benefits. Gratitude deepens our personal and professional relationships. It leads to healthier friendships, stronger marriages, and easier social interaction. When we’re grateful people are more open to us and we’re more open to them.
    • Personality benefits. People with an attitude of gratitude tend to be less self-centered and less materialistic. The pursuit of money and power can isolate us, make us feel less competent, and dramatically reduce our appreciation of people and the natural beauty of the world around us. Gratitude makes us less envious of others and more open to new things. We enjoy greater self-esteem and tend to be more optimistic overall.
    • Health benefits. A grateful disposition can improve sleep, give us more energy for work and exercise, benefit our overall health, and increase longevity.
    • Career benefits. Gratitude makes us better managers and helps us make better decisions. It can increase productivity, help us network more effectively, and make reaching professional goals more enjoyable and more likely. A grateful disposition makes it easier for us to learn from our mistakes and recover more quickly from professional and personal setbacks that otherwise could damage our chances of attaining our career goals.

    Showing appreciation or gratitude can be the key to successfully growing your list of clients, colleagues, and referral partners. It can also contribute to your sense of personal well-being. Giving thanks, when it’s truly sincere and heartfelt, comes from a place of humility. It’s a sincere recognition that you are lucky, privileged, and fortunate in the relationships you have, in the support you get, and the recognition you receive. And, because gratitude works both ways, its power is even greater. It strengthens bonds and enriches our lives by deepening our appreciation for people and the beauty of the world around us.

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