How did you show gratitude today?

Thank you: A small word with a big impact

Gratitude. Everyone feels it, but few speak it out. We all, or at least many of us, have learned from parents how to show gratitude. Especially when we get something. As a child you get a lot of gifts, so everyone had enough time to learn that one would also thank them for them. At least that's what we still do today. Once for a birthday and once for Christmas, a polite thank you. Otherwise, a really serious thank you that comes from the heart comes less and less from our lips - our everyday request - thank you, of course, except for phrases.

You should not only show gratitude when you receive something, such as a gift, flowers or an envelope with money, but also with immaterial things. I just got into this thought myself and thought about what I am infinitely grateful for to my family, friends, and partner. At first it wasn't that easy, but the more I thought about it, the longer the list of things got. However, for most of the items on my list, I couldn't remember ever thanking them. For some reason I took it for granted what these people did for me and how much they supported me.

Gratitude also comes in other forms and does not necessarily have to be tied to people. To whom or what we direct our gratitude to is not decisive. Faith has helped many people through difficult times, for example, nature gives others strength to continue or the animal world gives consolation. Have you ever wondered which events or experiences in your life you are particularly grateful for? Often it is seemingly unimportant experiences or encounters to which we owe a lot.

Ingratitude can cost a career

Ingratitude is a recipe for success with an expiration date. Many bosses still rely on the scam "nasty boss" who knows everything better and never gives praise, because gratitude is only something for wimps. Every great and successful thinker needs support and help from others. However, if you reach out to the successes alone without appreciating the whole team behind it and appreciating their contribution, there will soon be no more support.

A network of people who support each other, for whom a favor is not taken for granted and who are also not too good to say thank you, can be helpful in every life situation, in a professional and private context anyway.

Gratitude goes a long way

Showing gratitude or expressing a small thank you regularly not only shows appreciation and appreciation, but can also be worthwhile for yourself.

In two studies by the well-known gratitude researchers Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, various positive effects of gratitude could be shown.

On the one hand, people who do things once a week for which they are grateful are more optimistic, more active in sports, have fewer psychological and physical complaints and have a more positive attitude towards their life than people who have thought about something once a week, that annoyed them or reflected on various events of the week. The same investigation was also carried out with chronically ill people, but with a daily reflection on things for which they are grateful and a control group. It could be shown that people in the gratitude group had a better perceived life satisfaction and started the new week more optimistically. In addition, they generally appear happier and more willing to help other people. (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).

A thank you from the boss = balm for the soul

Especially where it would be particularly important to show appreciation in the form of gratitude, this is often lost in the heat of the moment, in the stressful everyday working life. In the job, almost everything is taken for granted and excellent work is a prerequisite. You give everything, come earlier and leave later than everyone else or even sit down in the office on Friday evenings. There is no thanks for that, at some point you ask yourself why am I still doing this? Probably because of the money, but that doesn't make you happy in the long run. A really serious thank you can change a lot. Give your co-workers or colleagues this feeling of appreciation and it will come back to you in the form of loyalty and good performance. In stressful times, a thank you from the boss is like balm for the soul.

loveMs. H., I would like to thank you very much for your great work. I know the company is up and down and you have a lot of extra work to do. I am really happy to have you on our team, thank you very much for your support! ”.

These words have only cost me 2 minutes and Ms. H. feels like a valuable team member whose work is recognized and valued. A small thank you with a big impact.

But also among employees, gratitude is a sign of respect and appreciation that promotes cooperation. Start with small gestures and take your colleague a coffee with you. You will be doubly happy the next time you enter the office and a cup of coffee is already on your desk.


When was the last time someone did you a favor? Did you thank them appropriately for this? Does your boss or colleagues show gratitude for your work or would you like to be valued more?


It is not the lucky ones who are grateful, it is the grateful who are happy.

by Francis Bacon



  • Emmons R.A., Mc Cullough M.E. (2003). Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol. 84, No. 2, 377-389. / Study by Emmons and Mc Cullough (2003)
  • May J. (2016). How it promotes happiness and success. Career bible / career bible
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