Meet the Authors

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Please join Nina and Mary Beth at one of these events in the San Francisco Bay Area!

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Alameda
Books Inc., Friday, November 7th, 7pm http://www.booksinc.net/Alameda

Corte Madera
Book Passage, Saturday, November 22, 1pm http://www.bookpassage.com

Oakland

A Great Good Place for Books has been postponed. New date to come

Emeryville
Barnes and Noble, Saturday, December 6, 1pm http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/store/2072

A Serving of Gratitude Can Keep the Doctor Away

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imagesThere are numerous studies taking place right now that are establishing the connection between gratitude and health.

The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley—in collaboration with UC Davis—launched a $5.6 million, three-year project, Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude. The project is supported with funding from the John Templeton Foundation.

Nina  attended the Greater Good Science Center’s Gratitude Summit a few months ago where leading researchers and scientists discussed studies which centered on ways gratitude correlates with biological markers of health. Naomi Eisenberger, director of the Social and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at UCLA — who is using gene expression and brain-scanning measures to examine some of the biological and neural underpinnings of gratitude — is one of the grant recipients.

Another one is Dr. Jeff Huffman from Harvard Medical School who conducted a study on the impact of gratitude in people who had recently suffered a heart attack. He found that patients who are more grateful healed faster and were less likely to have another heart attack.

Our book includes information that establishes empirically what we have always known intuitively and discovered through our own research – that saying “thank you” is good for your health. What other scientific studies have caught your attention?

A Global Celebration of Gratitude

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Sunday, September 21 is World Gratitude Day and there are numerous activities planned to mark the occasion including the world’s very first Gratitude Parade and Rally in Cambridge, MA. Musical events, meditations, and other observances will take place around the planet, all in the spirit of peace and appreciation for our global blessings.

The official beginning of World Gratitude Day was in 1965 at the East-West Center in Hawaii at a Thanksgiving dinner honoring grantees hosted by Sri Chinmoy, a meditation guru.  As director of the United Nations Meditation Group, he suggested the idea as a globally unifying holiday.  Each person pledged to hold a gratitude gathering each September 21 in their own country. The United Nations Meditation Group formally celebrated World Gratitude Day on September 21, 1977 at the New York Headquarters.

Everyone can join in the celebrations. It can be as simple as dedicating your day to someone, or lighting a candle while you acknowledge the things you appreciate in your life. Doing so will make a big difference in your life and in the lives of those around you!

Despite the challenges taking place today in the world, there is much to be thankful for. Think about who can you thank on World Gratitude Day for the positive impact they have had on your life. How do you plan to show your gratitude?

5 Ways You Can Cultivate Gratitude at Work

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“People want to be appreciated, not impressed. They want to be regarded as human beings, not as mere sounding boards for other people’s egos. They want to be treated as an end in themselves, not as a means toward the gratification of another’s vanity”. —Sydney J. Harris

Imagine if you woke one morning to a text on your smart phone from your boss thanking you with a big “Wow, that was great” for the work you did the day before?

Unfortunately, people are less likely to express gratitude at work than anyplace else, according to a survey of 2,000 Americans released in 2013 by the John Templeton Foundation.

The good news: times are a changing, and increasingly bosses, co-workers and those on the front lines of corporate America are starting to pay attention to the science that tells us grateful people are typically happier people. Being grateful makes us smile more, and makes us more optimistic and reduces negativity, and those are huge reasons to make gratitude a daily habit at work too.

We applaud an article this week in Entrepreneur.com. It calls on us to try to thank to think about what you’re thankful for at least once a day on the job, and offers five tips for weaving a gratefulness practice into the workplace:

In light of small successes and simple acts of kindness, here are five ways to show gratitude every day:

  1. Write in an abundance journal.Purchase a small notebook and keep it in your briefcase, purse or on your bedside table. Take a few minutes each day to jot down one or two positive experiences, or, alternatively, write what you’re grateful for at the end of each week.
  2. Express your gratitude in person.When a friend, colleague or client goes above and beyond, be sure to state your appreciation. Go to their office or treat them to lunch or a quick cup of coffee.
  3. Show respect for those around you.Treat others with the same level of courtesy you expect to receive: smile, show kindness, exhibit patience and listen.
  4. Don’t complain.When something terrible happens, it’s natural to want to complain about it. You may become impatient with someone in line who takes too long to pay or moan to an employee about a difficult client. You may even complain to yourself when a driver cuts you off in traffic.
  5. Volunteer in your community.There’s a well-known secret among long-time gratitude practitioners that an act of kindness does more good for you than those you’re serving.

Certainly finding ways to honor ourselves and be grateful for those who share our workdays with us can go a long way in helping us feel better, more powerful and have a strong impact on our relationships with others – at work and home too!

What ways have you found to practice gratitude at work? We’d love for you to share.

Welcome to Planet Gratitude

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…where we are all set to embark on an exploration of the ways gratitude can change our world. We are Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons, co-authors of The Grateful Life and Living Life as a Thank You, as well as this site where we will expand on the universal themes we examine in our books.

In our interviews and research, we have discovered that a consistent practice of gratitude is the most effective way to overcome obstacles and experience joy.

Our posts will feature new stories and highlight the work of academic researchers, mental health professionals, spiritual leaders, and scientists whose research empirically proves that people who are more grateful tend to be happier, less isolated, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives, and to act with more generosity and compassion for others. If you haven’t already done so, please join our networks by clicking on the links to the left. Thank you for accompanying us on this journey to a better life.