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Gratitude is Great

20 November 2012

Allison read gratitude posts on Facebook and enjoyed celebrating happy moments with her friends near and far.

Tags: allison read, gratitude, happiness, optimism, social media

I was a late convert to the social media scene, but as each day passes I find more things I enjoy about this unique way of connecting with people.  If you spend any time on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that some of your friends have been writing a daily gratitude post during the month of November in celebration of Thanksgiving. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Today, I am thankful for dancing shoes;
  • Thankful for parents who still let me be the kid sometimes;
  • Day One, a little ditty about Jack and Diane;
  • Another day to be grateful for some of the awesome things my 85 year father has accomplished with his life;
  • Day 8 – meeting a new craft beer;
  • Day 17: Thankful for the weekend and time to work on one of the many unfinished projects I have started;
  • A patient wife.

All of this gratitude is likely leading to more happiness. As Shawn Achor wrote in The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, “Countless other studies have shown that consistently grateful people are more energetic, emotionally intelligent, forgiving, and less likely to be depressed, anxious or lonely.” And, “When researchers pick random volunteers and train them to be more grateful over a period of a few weeks, they become happier and more optimistic, feel more socially connected, enjoy better quality sleep, and even experience fewer headaches than control groups.”

Every day we’re learning more about the important connection between happiness and organizational and individual performance. The good news is that we don’t have to wait for happiness to come our way. It turns out that there are very practical things you can do to help build your happiness skills. Check out my recent blog post, Practice Your Way to Optimism. It summarizes some of our team’s thoughts on happiness. I hope you’ll also consider joining Rachel for her Happiness Matters course in Richmond, VA, on 10 December 2012. Thanks to the Chesapeake Bay Organizational Development Network, it’s free and that makes me very grateful.


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