Recently, I was doing some research for a continuing education presentation that I was making for a group of lawyers. The presentation was about health and wellness in attorneys. In doing the research, I was fascinated to discover how much information is available about gratitude and the effects being grateful has on mental health and wellness.
One particularly interesting take on this was from Shawn Achor, a psychologist who became well known for a Ted Talk he recorded about ten years ago. In the Ted Talk, he gives tips for happiness, including writing down three things you are grateful for daily, spending two minutes describing a meaningful experience that occurred in the past 24 hours, and taking two minutes to write an email and thank one person in your social support network.
The interesting thing is that after this Ted Talk, Achor didn’t quit studying gratefulness and its effects on happiness. Instead, he studied it more and discovered that there was a common theme in the people that are happiest in the world … they have deep connections to those around them. Achor suggests opening business meetings with going around the room and telling one thing you are grateful for that day. This connects co-workers with others in unique and powerful ways. The power of relationships and practicing gratitude together improved the quality of work and the quality of life for doctors, lawyers, and ditch diggers.
We’re all thinking about gratitude and thankfulness this week as we celebrate Thanksgiving. Don’t limit it to just this week. Practice gratitude every day of your life. Happiness will follow.
Christy Crow is an attorney with Jinks, Crow & Dickson, P.C.