Gratitude is being thankful, as well as expressing thanks and appreciation (Psychology Today). And there is more to gratitude than meets the eye. Practicing gratitude can have a positive effect on all areas of your life – physical, mental, emotional, and even social! Research has shown that individuals who regularly practice gratitude have (Berkeley University):
Stronger immune systems
Lower blood pressure
Experience more joy and optimism
Express more positive emotions
Improved and strengthened relationships
Gratitude can be a simple “thank you,” but can go beyond just the eventful, momentous occasions and situations we may be grateful for, which may be why gratitude has been taken for granted. Think of gratitude as a way to appreciate and refocus on what we have vs. what we lack. It can be easy to be grateful for the big things in life: good health, a job, and a supportive family. Remember the small things that you experience every day that you can be grateful for as well, like sending a short text to a friend or hearing a compliment from a co-worker. Being thankful for all of these can help you reap the benefits.
Just like any other habit, being grateful requires practice. And you can start here with the 31-Day Gratitude Challenge! Use a journal to write down your thoughts and experiences of gratitude during this 31-day challenge. Collect them in a “gratitude jar.” Share your letters and lists with others. Use social media to share your gratitude. At the end of 31-days, you will be able to look back and see all your moments of gratitude.
Think about why you started this challenge. What’s your motivation?
Write about something you are grateful for today.
Write down 10 things that you are grateful to have in your life.
Pick a good cause and donate whatever amount that you can.
Write a thank-you note to someone who deserves recognition.
Write down five things that you love about yourself.
Bring treats to the office and share with co-workers
What is something that you are looking forward to in the next 3 months?
Let a car merge in front of you.
Greet everyone you see today! A small hello can help make someone’s day!
Give encouragement and recognition to someone who is working hard.
Write down one meaningful event that happened to you today.
Pay for the order for the person behind you, or leave a small amount for someone to find.
Watch an inspiring video to help you stay focused on the good in the world.
Take a picture of one thing, place, person that makes you feel grateful.
Write down 5 people who you are grateful to have in your life
Talk to someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
Think positive! Try to see the glass as half full today and only say positive things.
What is something you own that you are grateful for?
Give a big tip at a restaurant.
Be kind to yourself, you are worth it!
Write a list of reasons of why you love someone – share it with them!
What is something you feel happy about accomplishing in your life?
Write a letter of appreciation to someone who has influenced you and send it!
Learn from your mistakes. Take them as lessons learned and use them an opportunity to grow.
Use your senses to celebrate the little things. Enjoy the smell of coffee, savor that one piece of chocolate, observe the winter day.
Give a gift to someone you are grateful for – a phone call, a text, a flower, a lottery ticket.
Say “thank you” for the little things that loved ones do for you.
Make a list of everything you are grateful for this year.
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