I’m grateful for the amazing bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables this year!
A study by Dr. Michael McCollough, of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Dr. Robert Emmons, of the University of California at Davis, in which several hundred people kept a daily log of things they were grateful for, concluded that “daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism and energy.”
At first, listing what you’re grateful for daily could appear to be yet another task you won’t get to. Tim Ferriss points out that “gratitude training” is the way to go, to make counting your blessings as routine as doing sit ups (or perhaps more routine for some!)
So here is a real-world example of how, if you break it down to the tiny things, you really can find things to be grateful for:
- I’m grateful for the nice evening light that caused me to open the curtains.
- I’m grateful my food is taking so long to cook, we settled on the couch to watch the DNC on tv.
- I’m grateful for my sense of humor that made me point out a man standing across the street, jokingly saying he was looking into the house.
- I’m grateful my friend had the presence of mind to shout out “I think he’s giving me a ticket!”
- I’m grateful that the parking person kindly let us off the hook. (It was a bizarre unobvious red zone in front of a stairway.)
In the September 2008 O Magazine, Oprah gives some good examples from her own gratitude journal:
“I am grateful for my breath and the recognition that I am here alive. Breathing. I am grateful for life. And for this time alone.”
OK a little deeper than my examples. But see how easy it is to find things to be grateful for?
Getting in the Gratitude Habit
What better use of Twitter, or status messages on your social networks, than to blast what you’re feeling grateful for? I know I know…there are better uses but it’s a good one!
The idea of seeing thousands of things I’m grateful for compiled does seem amazing. For now, I will at least continue counting my blessings to fall asleep. Sheep are so last millennium.