After eight years of intensive research, Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor at University of California, believes he has discovered what gives life meaning: Gratitude.
He is not alone. There are dozens of studies that validate the impact of gratitude on quality of life and performance.
An attitude of gratitude, not to be confused with indebtedness, has been scientifically proven to have a positive impact on health and well-being. Basically, the ‘attitude of gratitude’ can make all the difference in how you view the world you live in (on and offline). An expression of gratitude can increase the “happiness” of the average individual by 2-19%. The impact of gratitude on those who are being challenged or having a tough time can be even more dramatic.
The video below to puts this theory to the test.
Please watch it! I promise you it is worth every second of your time.
This may explain why those who experience near-death experiences, or put in harm’s way find it easier to express gratitude. When one views life as a gift – rather than taking on a victim mentality or sense of entitlement – they enjoy multiple advantages in several areas of life including relationships, career, finances, academics, health, energy level as well as coping with tragedy and crisis.
I believe an attitude of gratitude and happiness is the driving force behind the accelerated recovery of a colleague. Dana Lookadoo is a smart, positive, generous woman, who I have had the honor of meeting, and who is known and liked by many in the SEO profession. In early November 2013, Dana and her bike, were in an accident that left her with broken vertebrae and other injuries. Despite the devastating physical injuries, Dana’s positive attitude are accelerating her recovery. I am not at all surprised. Dana is a gracious and generous person, touching the lives of many on and offline – illustrated by the intense interest and activity on Facebook where hundreds of people from around the world anxiously await news on her progress, sending her notes of love, support and encouragement for her recovery. Many of these people have never met Dana in person – they only know her through social media, yet the sentiments are powerful, strong and quite genuine.
I am truly inspired by her strength and believe that if there were ever a case study to be made on how to be authentic and connect as a real person on social media, Dana would be it…wouldn’t you agree?
Dana’s experience resonates with me in a very personal way.
While recovering from a violent car accident during my college years, I was so grateful to be alive I could not stop smiling – even though I was visibly missing many teeth! Instead of focusing on injuries and the long road of recovery ahead, I felt thankful, happy, and believed I had been given a beautiful gift. To this day, I care less about appearances or material things. Instead, I appreciate what matters most, embracing experiences in life and grateful for each and every new friend or opportunity that comes my way…including you – the person reading this post at this very moment. : )
It really does not matter how or where you express that gratitude. Gratitude can be a whisper to someone you love, a note, while blessing a meal, or a note of thanks on social media.
As part of daily life for so many, social media can play a vital role in expressing gratitude. Sincere acts of gratitude will not only feel good; they can go a long way in creating an authentic connection with audiences, one person at a time. You do not need science to believe that showing appreciation for blessings, including gifts or acts of kindness of others, is a win-win. So, it only makes sense that sincere gratitude would be equally powerful when expressed on social media, whether public or privately.
In the U.S. we often express gratitude on Thanksgiving day.
We really don’t need a holiday or excuse to be grateful for everything (and everyone) good in our life – do we?
I challenge you to take a moment each and every day to express your gratitude on social media. You do not have to exercise all of your gratitude publicly or online. Yet, one expression of gratitude a day could bring dramatic results over a week, month or year.
What expressions of gratitude are suitable for social media? Think about what are you grateful for each day. It may be an event for which you initially believe no one person is responsible. Yet, I suspect that when we take a moment to reflect and delve into the events that led to that event, we can probably identify a person that contributed to that success or achievement. It may have been words of affirmation, a loan, a gift, an introduction, a rave review, or even a simple share…any of which are worthy of an expression of gratitude.
Something tells me that if we all did this, every day, we would connect with more people, enjoy more success and be genuinely happier about the life we live. Studies show that the happier we are, the more attractive we are to other people. The more attractive you are to others, the more effective social media is likely to be in helping you build audiences that you genuinely connect with – that want to be connected to you.
My final thought is one of gratitude…thank YOU clicking on this page and reading this post.
I wish you happiness and fulfillment in everything you do!
P.S. Dana, thank you for your friendship and for reminding me of how powerful gratitude is, especially this Thanksgiving and holiday season xx00
UPDATE: It is with sadness that I have to add that Dana Lookado lost her brave battle to recover from her injuries in September 2015. Rest in Peace Dana, you made everyone you knew better by association with you.
Rebecca Murtagh is a Human AI Evangelist, Author of CROWD SUCCESS® and a human performance coach. Rebecca leverages decades of experience working with Fortune 500, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, Mains Street companies and startup entrepreneurs to help virtual companies, remote talent and hybrid teams leverage Human AI to continually operate from a place of genius, innovate faster and find greater fulfillment in their work and life in a world of intelligent machines.
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