Can Workplace Gratitude Turn Useless?

January 24, 20203:53 pm1622 views
Can Workplace Gratitude Turn Useless?
Can Workplace Gratitude Turn Useless?

Gratitude is good 

Workplace gratitude has the power to transform poor workplace culture to the best place to work. In her study, Stephanie Pollack conducted a three-day retreat in a national nonprofit organisation where workplace morale was low. She encouraged employees to recognise good things in their lives and say thank you. At the end of the program, there was a stronger connection and authenticity within the organisation and between employees. 

Robert Emmons, a psychologist at UC Davis, revealed that harnessing gratitude in our personal or professional life can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction. The gratitude you practice everyday can also unlock the fullness of life, making you feel more positive emotions, more alive, helping you sleep better, even leading to a stronger immune system.

The debate on gratitude 

People who have gone through real hardship maybe find it hard to agree that gratitude is always the right way to lead a positive life. Sara Rodriguez at Thought Catalog cited that allowing yourself to wire up with gratitude could lead you to a more depressed mind and discourage you to make further changes in your life. 

See also: Managing Depression in the Workplace: HR Guide

Such mindset like “this is very bad and sad but I am grateful for it” will only encourage the complacency that could otherwise prompt you to make important and life-altering changes. When you overlook gratitude, it might lead nowhere but to always feeling “okay” with the life or career you have now. However, Rodriguez added if we stay truthful and honest with the gratitude feeling, different things might happen. After all, it is about how we harness gratitude itself that matters. 

Harnessing gratitude in the right way 

It is true that we cannot simply eliminate hardships and bad moments in our life. Yet, we can use our gratefulness to turn negativity into power.

For example, in a few studies, Robert Emmons cited that keeping the feeling of grateful during a bad – very bad – situation will help you feel more positive about your condition, thus, helping you to think clearly about the way out. Studying people who suffered from a severe neuromuscular disorder, Emmons found that keeping a gratitude journal helps the patients have more positive emotions and more optimistic about the upcoming week. 

The point is, when you want to feel the positive effect of gratefulness, you should not put aside your negative feelings. You can still be sad or frustrated over something – but remember to keep the gratitude feeling as it can help you do better. To illustrate, you are now handling a tough project – you can feel stressed, burnout, and upset. Yet, you are thankful for the task because it helps you hone your skills and expand your experience – not to mention, the bonus is good. This kind of practice will help push you to do better in your job. 

Read also: What Happens to Employees When You Appreciate Them?

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