What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is the feeling of thankfulness – in other words, being grateful for what you have.

No doubt you already know this, however, it can be easy to get caught up in the things that we want in life and forget about what we already have. By consciously taking time and making an effort to notice and appreciate life’s little wins, we can change our outlook on life to a more positive one.

In recent years, gratitude has become something of a buzzword in the world of well-being, and mindfully practising gratitude is credited with multiple health benefits.

For example, in 2023, researchers reviewed results from 67 studies in order to determine whether practising gratitude really makes a difference to your psychological well-being. They found that it does, with participants having improved mental health – including fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as a more positive mood overall.

Additionally, other research has found that practising gratitude can even lead to improved physical health. According to Mind.org, people that practise gratitude have ‘fewer common health complaints, such as headaches, digestion issues, respiratory infections, runny noses, dizziness, and sleep problems’.


So how can practising gratitude help your business?

As acknowledged by Forbes, the workplace can be regarded as a transactional space, where there is no room for compassion: ‘We may think that it’s unprofessional to bring things like forgiveness or gratitude into the workplace’. However, when employers and leaders take time to acknowledge their employees and show gratitude, their people feel valued and appreciated and have a more positive attitude towards their work and employer.  

By encouraging a culture that practises gratitude, the positive results have a knock-on effect, embedding a more positive attitude across your business. 

These benefits can help to:

  • Increase performance and productivity
  • Strengthen employee engagement and trust
  • Boost morale
  • Reduce absenteeism

As well as this, gratitude ‘appears to have social implications by motivating individuals to improve themselves’ – meaning your people are more likely to actively engage in self-improvement, such as further training and other opportunities for progression.

Gratitude can also lead to better relationships, by helping to increase our positive perception of those around us. Improved relationships can, in turn, lead to better communication between colleagues and more successful teamwork.

As a result, by encouraging gratitude, you could see a stronger performance from your employees – both individually, and as part of the wider team.

Positivity in the workplace breeds positivity – helping to discourage negativity – and creating a more constructive and pleasant working environment.


Gratitude in the Workplace

If practising gratitude is something you would like to try in the workplace, there are plenty of activities that you can introduce.

Naz Beheshti, for Forbes, recommends gathering your team together (in person, or via Zoom) and encouraging them to share their thoughts based on several prompts. Beheshti suggests asking:

  • What they are grateful for at work
  • Someone on the team they are grateful for, and why
  • Something in their life outside of work that they are grateful for

As a leader, you can also take action to cultivate gratitude in the workplace.

For example, you might show gratitude to your people by acknowledging individual employees’ successes, regularly setting time aside in meetings for praise, and by rewarding your team for their accomplishments.

Of course there are many ways you, as an employer, can demonstrate how much you value your team.

Here at Essential Vitality, we feel our On-Site Massage services are a brilliant way to reward your people and show them how much you appreciate their hard work. Click each link to find out more about our revitalising Chair Massage and ‘At Your Desk’ Vitality Massage services.


For further reading on practising gratitude, we would recommend: