UCSD Study: Gratitude May Be Important Part of Reducing Stress at Work

Adults experiencing stress
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Researchers UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management found on Wednesday.

In their study, to be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: In general, they found that this cardiovascular response leads to increased concentration and more self-confidence which in turn can allow individuals to give their maximum performance.

The study found that gratitude can benefit individuals in “relaxed” relationships, such as colleagues. He also revealed that gratitude creates biological resources, promoting better stress responses, which can have long-term health effects. Repeated exposure to stress is associated with cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment and impaired immunity.

“Our results have a significant impact on organizations, and especially on employees who work together under intense stress to achieve common goals,” said Christopher Oveis, senior study author and associate professor of economics and strategy at Rady School.

The results were obtained from an experiment with 200 participants who had to compete in a competition inspired by the TV show “Shark Tank”. UCSD students were paired up in groups to reproduce peer-to-peer relationships in the workplace – people who are not close personally but spend a lot of time together.

The teams took six minutes together to come up with a platform to create and market a bike for the students to ride on campus and gave them six minutes to present their product and marketing plan to a panel of judges. The winning team was awarded $ 200.

“It’s essentially an impossible task,” Oveis said. “The experiment is designed to create an environment of maximum stress so that we can measure how gratitude shapes the response to stress during teamwork, because most people spend a third or more of their daily lives at work. ».

Participants wore electrodes around their necks and torsos that collected electrocardiogram and resistance cardiography signals. Blood pressure was also monitored. A selected group of teams was randomly assigned to express gratitude and their biological responses were compared to groups that did not like each other during the competition.

“In a high-risk, motivated performance job, people can react in one of two ways on a biological level,” Oveis said. “Some people really respond to the challenge and have an effective cardiovascular response known as the challenge response: the heart pumps more blood, the blood vessels dilate, blood reaches the periphery, oxygenated blood reaches the brain and cognitive function is activated in all cylinders.

“But other people do not do so well and instead have a threatening response: the heart pumps less blood, blood vessels constrict, blood flow to the periphery decreases and efficiency decreases,” he said.

Just an expression of gratitude lasting one to two minutes from one teammate to another pushed these teammates to more adaptive, performance-oriented responses to biological challenges, the researchers found.

Oveis and co-authors – Yumeng Gu, Rady School PhD while the research was in progress, Rady School graduate Joseph Ocampo and University of North Carolina psychology professor at Chapel Hill Sara Algoe – tested the cardiovascular reactions in stress on an individual and collaborative level.

According to the study, the control groups showed responses to threats characterized by decreased blood flow and increased vasoconstriction. However, a simple expression of gratitude before work eliminated these responses to threats. During individual product presentations, control groups showed moderate challenge responses characterized by vasodilation and increased peripheral blood flow. However, the grateful groups showed significantly larger, enhanced challenge responses that helped their performance, the authors wrote.

“Expressions of gratitude in the workplace can be the key to managing our daily stress responses, as well as optimizing the way we respond during high-pressure performance tasks, such as product offerings, so that we can “We make our stress responses fuel performance instead of harming it,” Oveys said. “But at their core, expressions of gratitude play a fundamental role in strengthening our relationships at work.”

– City news service

UCSD Study: Gratitude May Be Important Part of Reducing Stress at Work Source link UCSD Study: Gratitude May Be Important Part of Reducing Stress at Work

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