We all understand the importance of gratitude, but putting it into practice can be challenging! I’m speaking from personal experience when I say that life easily gets busy and stressful. We all go through highs and lows, making it difficult to sit down and count our blessings. And sometimes, we just don’t want to do it! But even though gratitude is a simple act, when done repeatedly, it can change your life. Sitting down for five minutes each day to think positively can lead to profound changes in your brain over time. Don’t believe me? Keep reading about our 30-day gratitude challenge.
Wait, but what is gratitude?
Gratitude is the practice of being thankful. When we do this, we train our brains to focus on the good instead of the bad. Even our favorite fictional characters have been caught doing this! For example, in “Mockingjay,” the final book in the “Hunger Games” trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Katniss Everdeen says the famous line: “That’s when I make a list in my head of every act of goodness I’ve seen someone do. It’s like a game. Repetitive. Even a little tedious after more than twenty years. But there are much worse games to play.” So, even this fictional badass managed to tap into the power of gratitude! AKA: remembering acts of kindness, the support of loved ones, personal accomplishments, or even the simple pleasures of life.
Facts About Gratitude
The following research on gratitude is proof of its transformative power (physically, psychologically, and socially):
- Gratitude is great for your relationships. It releases oxytocin, which helps two people strengthen their relationship.
- Gratitude reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety. According to a 2015 study involving nearly 300 adults, people who wrote daily gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health after only four weeks.
- Gratitude benefits your physical health. According to a 2012 study involving nearly 1,000 adults, grateful individuals are more likely to engage in healthy activities like exercise. They also enjoy better physical health, in part, because of their greater psychological health.
- Gratitude improves sleep. Research in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that people who expressed gratitude before bedtime enjoyed improved sleep quality and duration.
- Gratitude contributes to professional success. Employees who feel appreciated by their employers are more engaged, productive, and less likely to leave their jobs.
Join the 30-Day Gratitude Challenge
This 30-day gratitude challenge is a great way to kickstart your journey. It’s also super low-maintenance. The plan involves:
- Keeping a gratitude journal
- Writing letters of appreciation
- Setting aside a “Gratitude Jar” where you collect all your small notes of thanks
Feel free to print out this article to hold yourself accountable. Without further ado, here’s the challenge breakdown:
Week 1: Gratitude for the Basics
Day 1: List three big things you’re grateful for.
Day 2: Express gratitude for the food you eat today.
Day 3: Focus on the people you’re thankful to have in your life.
Day 4: Reflect on what you’re grateful for in your home.
Day 5: Be grateful for the beauty of the world around you.
Day 6: Appreciate three little things that bring you joy.
Day 7: Summarize your week’s gratitude in a journal entry.
Week 2: Gratitude for Self
Day 8: List three things you love about yourself.
Day 9: Write a letter of gratitude to your past self.
Day 10: Be thankful for your body and its abilities.
Day 11: Express gratitude for your accomplishments.
Day 12: Reflect on your favorite hobbies and interests.
Day 13: Focus on the knowledge and skills you’ve gained.
Day 14: Summarize your self-appreciation week in a journal entry.
Week 3: Gratitude for Others
Day 15: Reach out to someone and thank them for their influence.
Day 16: Show appreciation for your family.
Day 17: Thank a friend for their support.
Day 18: Express gratitude for a co-worker or colleague.
Day 19: Write a letter to a teacher or mentor who impacted your life.
Day 20: Appreciate the kindness of a stranger in your day.
Day 21: Summarize your week of gratitude for others in a journal entry.
Week 4: Gratitude in Challenging Times
Day 22: Find something positive in a challenging situation.
Day 23: Reflect on lessons learned from a difficult experience.
Day 24: Express gratitude for your resilience.
Day 25: Thank someone who has helped you through a tough time.
Day 26: Focus on what you’re grateful (and excited) for in your future.
Day 27: Appreciate the beauty of the present moment.
Day 28: Summarize your week of gratitude in challenging times in a journal entry.
Week 5: Reflection & Planning
Day 29: Reflect on your 30-day gratitude journey.
Day 30: Set goals for continuing your gratitude practice.
The Gratitude Journal
This gratitude journal is created with leading psychology research. It offers a simple yet powerful method to the feeling of appreciation for the people and experiences in our lives. It also helps you experience higher levels of positive emotion: happiness, optimism, and mindfulness. Plus, less anxiety and loneliness! Even if you only have few minutes a day, take that time to reflect on the things you’re thankful for. Write it all in this daily journal.
As you embark on this 30-day gratitude challenge, don’t lose sight of the end goal. Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for personal growth, positive relationships, and overall well-being. I have the utmost confidence in you this month. Start your gratitude journey today and let me know how it goes for you in the comments section.