Why gratitude can improve our sense of self-worth

thank you

Gratitude can boost a sense of self-worth. (Pic: istockphoto.com/anyaberkut)

Never underestimate the power of thank-you. Gratitude bestows the giver and receiver with a sense of self-worth that is totally missing when a thank-you is absent or forgotten. This has been proven in research carried out by Francesca Gino from Harvard Business School. She discusses her findings in an article on the Harvard Gazette on The Power of Thanks.

Her psychology experiment showed that receiving an acknowledgement of feedback without gratitude produced a 25% level of self-worth among the receivers. However, 55% of the test group that received a thank-you alongside the feedback felt higher levels of self-worth. And more than double those who were thanked were likely to help the person out in the future (66% versus 32% who didn’t get a thank-you).

She says she hates to miss an opportunity to thank-you, as it is always worth the effort. “Receiving expressions of gratitude makes us feel a heightened sense of self-worth, and that in turn triggers other helpful behaviors toward both the person we are helping and other people, too.”

Other articles I like on the subject of gratitude are The transformative power of gratitude on Psychology Today and How gratitude can change your life on The Change Blog. They’re full of tips on how to make gratitude a welcome, mindful and compassionate part of your life.

A simple tip is to keep a ‘gratitude book’. Write 10 things you’re grateful for every evening and spot what a difference it can make to your wellbeing.

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