GRATITUDE: The “Thank you!” note

It’s the end of the 2019 Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK. Hope you all feel happy and healthy.

Today, I decided to talk about something small, which actually has a huge impact on our mental health – the importance of gratitude and saying “THANK YOU”!

Last month I was pleasantly surprised to see this (anonymous) surprise on my desk at work.

I can’t even describe the amount of happiness I felt at that moment. This small sparkle of joy, made my day shine and nothing else really mattered after it. The perfect way to thank someone in an anonymous, fun but yet touching way. The gesture made me think about the importance of thankfulness, specifically at the workplace.

We all have busy lives, I know. However, it’s easy to burn ourselves out when doing a hundred different things at a time. Receiving help, especially at the workplace, is always a great gift which sometimes we forget to acknowledge.

Being nice to colleagues is an essential quality that needs to be possessed, no matter if we’re working in a big or small organisation. Why? First of all, teamwork makes the dream work. And second, no one is really obligated to help us with anything which won’t affect them in future. However, when it happens, it’s good to make a note.

So, I’m wondering – did we stop being grateful or we too busy to recognize it?

People may say:

“I feel uncomfortable to thank someone. I don’t know what say and it’s embarrassing.”

There’s no reason to feel embarrassed for expressing gratitude. Actually, it’s something to be proud of. Sometimes the answer to hesitation is as simple as asking the person what they need to hear. Seriously. You don’t have to be a psychic to read everyone’s mind. Just ask.

Ask people what they need to hear!

On the other hand, there is a fine line between feeling required to give thanks and actually meaning them. A genuine “thank you” feels and sounds different.

While discussing the topic with one of my friends, she said:

“Why can’t people treat each other the same way they treat people on their birthdays? Just be kind.”

It still echos in my head. Is it so hard just to be good with each other without any particular reason? Does it cost so much? What we lose if we thank someone?

Being nice with people around you makes such a difference. If you don’t know that, then you probably have never tried it.

Do you express gratitude to people who deserve it?

Come on, everyone should give thanks. Even Jimmy Fallon does it on his show (and apparently people love it)!

There’re actually some pretty good reasons to express gratitude to somebody, including colleagues. The best part – it goes both ways so you will benefit from it too. Here are 8 great benefits to give and receive gratitude.

  • Shows appreciation of someone

When we say “thank you” to someone, they feel our gratitude and respect. Their work has been noticed and they feel an important part of the whole.

Moreover, it builds a steady, positive culture within the workplace. Praising someone is not a bad thing. It’s the opposite.

  • Encourages people

Showing respect to someone’s work makes them more productive by developing a positive attitude. It motivates them to work harder and also increase their willingness to help in future.

This, on the other hand, builds a perception of a workplace which values its employees and their work.

  • It’s the key to success

Happiness creates success! Because at the end of the day, these people spend 40 hours a week to work towards the same goal you have. Don’t take them for granted.

  • Makes people feel good

Receiving and giving gratitude improves self-worth value, boost self-esteem and decline comparison with others. That improves overall mental health.

It’s beneficial not just for the receiver but for the giver too because when we give good, we receive good.

  • Helps the general wellbeing

Being grateful releases dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins, called “feel good chemicals” or happy hormones. Practising gratitude and releasing these hormones will make us want more from the same, so here we talk about an opportunity for happiness in the long term. [1]

  • Improves physical health

Interestingly enough, gratitude also helps to eat healthier. How? Simply, we start taking care of our wellbeing as an acknowledgement towards people who are good to us. When saying “thank you”, we realise our blessings and inspire to be and feel better people. [2] It reduces the cortisol which is responsible for the stress level, improves sleep and boosts the immune system. [3] Grateful people also attend regularly their check-ups, exercise more and take care of the overall health. Longevity, here we go!

  • Improves psychological health

We’ll experience a higher level of positive emotions such as happiness, satisfaction, joy, empathy etc. on our mood and general wellbeing. Gratitude also reduces envy, aggression, resentment, regret etc. [4]

  • Improves mental health

The “gratitude therapy” shows improvements in the overall mental health due to all the stated reasons above. That includes beating depression, stress, anxiety, easing pain and improving heart health. [2]

The key is in the small gestures. They make a much bigger impact than we think. It isn’t required to give a jar with sweets to say it. You can write an email, give them a “Thank You” card/note, publicly thanking them, get them a coffee, a gift card, Prosecco, small gift or just say it to them. Believe me, for some people it’ll mean the world! Don’t think about it too much but act how you feel it. One thing is for sure – it’ll make them feel happy.

I think it’s time to challenge ourselves and our way of thinking. No one is obligated to do good, but doing it makes our lives easier. We need to be grateful and show appreciation. It’s time to recognize our blessings!

I will start first.

I would like to thank you, my reader, for stopping by and reading my piece of work. Thank you for motivating me to continue doing what I enjoy the most – writing.

See, is not hard if it’s genuine. And by the way, great things do happen if we say thank you. Look at this blog post!

Do you dare to challenge yourself? Let me know what are you thankful for in the comments below.

References:

  1. https://technologyadvice.com/blog/information-technology/activate-chemicals-gamify-happiness-nicole-lazzaro/
  2. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6407319/How-saying-thank-help-ease-depression.html
  3. https://www.today.com/health/be-thankful-science-says-gratitude-good-your-health-t58256
  4. https://www.njlifehacks.com/thanks-robert-emmons-book-summary/

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