The Presidential election already seems like ancient history. Our new President is front and center in the news and on everyone’s minds these days. But the work continues behind the scenes for aides of rival candidate Hillary Clinton.
In particular, one staffer single-handedly answers the thousands of pieces of correspondence that Ms. Clinton still receives everyday. In gratitude, she insists on sending a personal reply to each one. I believe that gratitude is a gift we should express everyday not only because it’s the right thing to do, but for our own happiness and well-being.
The aide assigned to this project is 30-year-old Rob Russo, the director of correspondence and briefings. According to Russo, as quoted in BuzzFeed, his work is a practice in “the discipline of gratitude.” He says the phrase is one of Clinton’s favorites from the early ’90s, borrowed from the Jesuit priest Henri Nouwen.
It’s the idea that gratitude should be practiced almost like an exercise or academic pursuit, something you commit to and work at. “That’s sort of her whole mantra in terms of her correspondence,” he says in the article.
Gratitude is Good for Your Health
A number of studies show that gratitude is also good for your health. As WebMD explains it in an article entitled Boost Your Health With a Dose of Gratitude, “Grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system…optimism also has a positive health impact on people with compromised health.”
In a study conducted after the September 11, 2001 tragedy, researchers noted an immediate surge in feelings of gratitude. The author of one survey attributes this surge in gratitude among Americans post 9/11 to a sense of increased belonging. He says gratitude in the aftermath of 9/11 helped buffer people against the negative effects of stress, making them less likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Gratitude is Good for Your Business
Gratitude not only makes you feel good, it can be good for your business. Do you express gratitude to a colleague who gives you a lead for a new account? Years ago, a company asked me to conduct a search for a new advertising agency. I narrowed the choices down to four agencies and my client chose one.
As the two agency leads and I drove out to New Jersey for the first orientation meeting, they talked to each other, completely excluding me. Never once did either one of them say “thank you.” Guess what? That was the last time I ever sent new business their way.
Do you regularly thank clients for their business? Expressing gratitude will make you feel good and your clients will certainly appreciate it. We shouldn’t need to be reminded that nothing in life is promised to us.
When you’re on the receiving end of a kind gesture or an unexpected gift, are you stingy about expressing your gratitude? You shouldn’t be, because expressing gratitude will not only make you happier it will literally improve your health.