Focusing on Heart Health and Gratitude at Work
Gratitude is an appreciation for what you have, both tangible and intangible; it is an acknowledgment of the good in your life. In positive psychology, gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. People who experience gratitude tend to have more positive emotions, are better able to deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
Gratitude can also positively impact your physical health. A study published by the American Psychological Association of people who already had heart damage found that the more grateful people reported themselves being, the healthier they were. They were less depressed, slept better and had more energy. Blood tests also showed they had lower levels of inflammation. Another study by the Harvard Medical School of patients who had heart attacks found those who reported feelings of gratitude took their medication regularly, ate a healthier diet and got more exercise than less grateful patients.
So how can you impart the many benefits of gratitude to your employees? A study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that showing gratitude can cause a ripple effect. When you show gratitude, your co-workers and employees are likely to be inspired to incorporate it into their own life. Some ways to incorporate gratitude into your team include:
- Saying ‘thank you’ to nurture relationships. Try making it a habit to show gratitude to someone in the office once a week.
- Encourage your teammates to share something they’re grateful for at the start of meetings. It will help your teammates focus on the positive in their life.
- Offering meditation programs that help employees focus on what they’re grateful for.
- Giving your team gratitude journals and encouraging them to use them in their personal lives.
Learn more about how gratitude can be beneficial in the workplace by checking out this Blue Cross® Virtual Well-Being webinar. Sign up for future employer-focused and general interest webinars here, where you’ll also find past sessions and resources.
Photo credit: Aaron Amat