Somewhere between toddlerhood and career years, being reminded to say “please,” and more importantly “thank you,” stops ranking high on our list of priorities.

It’s probably because by the time we’re adults we’re supposed to know we aren’t participating in simple pleasantries but that a heart-felt “thank you,” can go a long way in showing gratitude and lifting the recipient’s spirits.

Recognizing accomplishments is good science

In fact, if science is to be believed (hint: believe it), receiving thanks results in many more positive impacts including:

  • Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure
  • Higher level of positive emotions
  • More joy, optimism and happiness
  • Acting with more generosity and compassion
  • Feeling less lonely and isolated

Simple acts of gratitude can go a long way. Here are four ways you can say thank you at the workplace.

1. At lunch, take a genuine interest in someone else’s hobby

Maybe it’s the guy who spent the weekend at ComiCon or the new person who always brings their knitting bag into the lunchroom. Ask if you can join them and politely ask them about their hobby.

“Hey, I heard you were at ComicCon this past weekend? Do you always attend? What kind of comics are you into?”

“I notice you always knit? I have a grandmother/mother/aunt (I know you know someone who knits) who knits, their specialty is slippers. What are you making? How did you learn?”

Be genuine, you don’t have to feign interest in their hobby but you do need to be sincere about wanting to listen to them and find out more about them.

2. Invite them to join you for a coffee

This is going to be your treat of course. If you’ve ever had a supervisor or manager make their way over to your area and specifically thank you for something then you know what a boost this can be.

The secret is you don’t have to be someone’s boss to give that same thank you boost. It’s not the token gesture of offering the splurge on a cup of coffee that makes this special and flattering. It’s the time you spend in line with them thanking them for what they did for you, letting them know the outcome of their help and how positive the lingering effects of their assistance have been for you.

3. Greet everyone on the path to your workspace with a “good morning”

Behaviourists say keeping a routine leads to feeling better about yourself in the long run and it helps productivity. Why not do something nice for yourself and someone else at the same time.

On the way in every morning (or afternoon or evening depending on when your day starts) make a point of greeting everyone by name with a “hello,” or “good morning,” and a smile.

You’ll most likely receive a salutation back along with a smile full of great-feeling endorphins but you’ll also be sending them out. Plus this start of the day ritual will help you be more productive and feel better over the long run.

Photo by SCA Tork Performance at Flickr