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  • Writer's pictureHanni Berger CEO JOYVIAL

Is Gratitude “The Secret Sauce” to JOY?

What I’m about to share isn’t easy for me to admit. There are certain habits in life we would rather not talk about and this is one of them. I could bury the truth about this and simply pretend that, what actually can be difficult for me, is something that comes easily - but it doesn’t - or at least, it didn’t. So here it is:

Oh before you keep reading please know you can now watch Hanni share her thoughts on this topic on our YouTube Channel too or just keep reading…

Up until recently, I had a hard time acknowledging people for the wonderful goodness they bring into the world. At work, I seemed to take people for granted and did not show appreciation for their efforts.

As a leader, I know how important it is to appreciate others and say ‘thank you’ at meaningful times. The ego voice in my head feels that only momentous accomplishments are worth acknowledging and that all else is just ‘part of the job’. I wondered why I have such high expectations and found that the answer was simple. I had such high expectations of myself and really wouldn’t acknowledge even my small wins.

Now, we can debate where in my childhood I learned that only the big accomplishments are worth celebrating, but I want to focus this blog on what I did to overcome it. First, I identified the belief that kept me a victim to this unwanted habit and then I reprogrammed my mind. If you want to know how to do this, read this blog .

Then, to reinforce the new habit I set a goal for myself in early August. I committed to uplifting another person with my words at least once every day. The beauty is that when you help someone else feel good, you not only make them happier but you automatically add more JOY into your life as well. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing.

It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

-- Voltaire

One day I thanked a person on the team for following her gut instinct. One evening I told a friend how grateful I am for her being such a good listener and allowing me to vent. Another day I acknowledged the amazing progress another friend made in an area that required a lot of effort. I expressed thanks to someone’s creativity and a team member’s leadership on a project.

I love it! Every time I acknowledged someone, they were beaming from ear to ear. Their reactions made me so happy!

If you think about it, no matter our passions, our goals, and how hard we strive for something, we all just want to be seen, heard, loved and valued. And the best way to get others to witness us at our best selves, is to witness them first.

The Science in “Being Thankful”

There are several proven key health benefits of showing appreciation to others.

  1. As noted in Psychology Today, expressing gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.

  2. Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.

  3. People who regularly express gratitude and appreciation are seen as more successful by their coworkers. A national survey commissioned by the John Templeton Foundation found that 93 percent of those polled agreed that grateful bosses were more likely to be successful, and only 18 percent thought that grateful bosses would be seen as “weak.”

The key is to be genuine about it. I’ve found that this means I need to do two things.

First, I must remember my intention to uplift others. It’s easy to go about my day and fall back into old habits, taking everyone around me for granted. It’s like a weak muscle that requires training for it to be strengthened.

Once I remember and look out for such opportunities, I need to take hold of the moment and give thanks…whatever that might look like. I’m three weeks into it and I have to admit that I’m LOVING IT. Every time I lift someone up and see their smiling face or hear their beaming voice, it uplifts me as well.

I’m so committed to spreading joy that my company, JOYVIAL will celebrate its second annual JOY DAY on Friday, October 2, 2020. This will be a day to show others they are seen, heard, valued and appreciated. We will have several prominent guests at a LIVE virtual event planned.

For more information, visit

Want to have more JOY in your life? If so, we are here to help. Click the 'Contact' button in the top right corner or simply send us an email to to schedule your free discovery session.

Remember, at JOYVIAL, we are committed to helping you live your healthiest, most JOYful life. For all the latest health and wellness tips and to get inspired, following along with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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