November 24, 2021

Gratitude As A Verb

The Giving of Thanks

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” —Friedrich Koenig.

When we think of Thanksgiving in the US, we often think of the food, friends, family gathering, and the onset of the holiday season’s. As we reflect on history, we remember the stories of the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag sharing a harvest feast. This may be part of our history from 1621, but the celebration of giving thanks is deep-rooted in many historical cultures. For instance, extending a hand in ancient Greece was a sign of gratitude. There are 102 mentions of thanks in the Old Testament and 72 references in the New Testament. Gratitude as a verb is reflected in how we greet people, the times we share together and the practice of praise and celebration.

There are many reasons to bring the spirit of gratitude into our lives, both at home, at work, and in our communities daily and many of them relate to our health and well-being.  A study at USC shows that expressing gratitude releases oxytocin in the brain which bolsters social bonding, reward, stress relief, a general sense of well-being, better sleep, more generosity, increased energy, and less depression.  Sharing the gift of gratitude, not only improves the lives of the recipient but also improves our own health.

Practicing gratitude changes how we feel and makes us more resilient, productive and happier.  With so much data to the contrary, studies show that a simple “thank you” can give us greater satisfaction in life, higher resilience to stress and make us generally happier as individuals, teams, companies and communities. See the article on Five Ways to Cultivate Gratitude at Work on ways we might consider expressing gratitude as a verb in the workplace. 

Gratitude in the workplace

The practise of giving thanks in the workplace is often overlooked. Did you know that Americans are less likely to say “thanks” on the job than anywhere else?   In a survey by John Templeton Foundation, respondents replied as follows.

  • 93 percent of the respondents agree that grateful bosses are more likely to succeed.
  • 18 percent felt the expression of gratitude showed a sign of weakness
  • 90 percent of the respondents suppressed saying “thank you” on any given day
  • 60 percent either never expressed gratitude or only expressed it once a year

The most interesting part of the study is that almost every respondent reported feeling happier and more fulfilled when they said: “thank you”. 

There are endless Apps that provide tools for expressing gratitude as a verb.  These range from meditations, gratitude journals, Ted Talks and Daily Gratitude reminders.  Workhuman has an app that can be used in the workplace to incorporate the expression of gratitude in the workplace.  Ted Talks offers hundreds of talks about how gratitude can shift our perspective.  Here are the 34 of the best TED Talks on the Power of Gratitude, one of our favorites is Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work. 

Turner Group’s culture is steeped in the expression of gratitude. It has created a deep bond of connection and well-being throughout our team for almost 30 years. For those of you who wondered what Chuck Roehm has been doing since he retired, he has been writing and producing music. Chuck expresses gratitude best in his original song, Grateful Heart, on SpotifyYouTube, and iTunes.  

Gratitude outshines all other emotions. When you feel it, it often overpowers different feelings. Gratitude is contagious. If we can share gratitude in our lives daily, we will experience joy in all areas of our lives, we are healthier, happier and more productive in the workplace.

If we haven’t taken a moment to express our gratitude for you in person, we want you to know we are grateful to all those that share our lives, both at home and at work. Thank you for making our lives better.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.” —Melody Beattie.