Suzanne Ferguson & Associates

Today I AM Grateful

The first time I learned about focusing on gratitude as a daily practice, was in 1998. I was new to Personal Growth, working with my first professional coach and what began as a simple 1 week homework exercise has followed me ever since. Of course, my coach gave me the assignment because I was complaining about something. It only took a few entries in my gratitude journal before my attitude began to shift. I have to laugh because 'Gratitude Journal' is an assignment my clients now receive from me, when they start to complain.

What is gratitude?

Robert Eammons, author and Psychology Professor at University of California defines gratitude as a sense of wonder, thankfulness and appreciation for life. In 2003 Eammons conducted his first study on gratitude. In a 10 week experiment, participants of the study were randomly assigned to 3 groups. The first group was called The Gratitude Condition and the participants of this group were asked to regularly journal 5 things that occurred over the previous week in which they were grateful. The second group was called The Hassles Condition and they were asked to record 5 things in which they were displeased. The third group was called The Events or Control Group and they were asked to list 5 events without focusing on the positive or negative aspects of the events.

After 10 weeks of practicing gratitude, the people who were in the gratitude condition group increased their happiness by a measured 25%. They also reported feeling more optimistic about the future, they felt better about their lives, and they even exercised 1 hours more per week than those who were in the hassles condition group. Since that first experiment more studies have been conducted with continued scientific proof that when people regularly cultivate gratitude, they experience a variety of measurable psychological, physical and social benefits. In some cases, people have reported that gratitude led to transformative life changes.

Would you like to shift your experience?
Consider cultivating an attitude of gratitude. This simple assignment will support your efforts.

  1. Buy yourself a beautiful new journal and pen.
  2. Before going to bed each night, review your day and write five statements, expressing what you are grateful for.
  3. Begin each statement with these words, 'I am grateful for...' Here are a few examples. I am grateful for my walk in the park this morning. I am grateful for the beautiful, crisp, sunny fall weather today. I am grateful to have work that I love.
  4. Enjoy the benefits of a grateful attitude!
If you want to learn more about the science of gratitude visit, http://greatergood.berkeley.edu
Suzanne Ferguson & Associates (412) 727-7299 sferguson@suzanneferguson.com
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