“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver
My husband Colin and I were at a local market earlier this week ordering a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving (October 9th here in Canada), and the young girl waiting on us was so pleasant and interested, asking if we were excited for Thanksgiving. ‘Excited’ wouldn’t be a word I would normally associate with this occasion, but she went on to say it was her absolute favourite because she will be with all of her family. I thought about this and realized that Thanksgiving may be the best occasion. It is focused on gratitude, togetherness and food. No gifts, gimmicks or ghouls.
Of course, I have found a way to weave gratitude into the conversation…again. I talk about it a lot, and I am certainly not the only one. The practice of gratitude, or giving thanks, has been scientifically proven to boost immunity, decrease negative feelings such as loneliness, decrease depression, boost positive emotions such as happiness and joy, and improve relationship satisfaction.
So, as with many other personal growth tools that we know to be beneficial, how do we incorporate them into our daily life? I have signed up for meditation challenges before, especially through Mindfulness Based Achievement, and I must say that this was an effective way to get a habit started by being prompted daily. It also allowed me to see the benefits in a reasonable amount of time – not too long and not too short.
Our 30 Day Gratitude Challenge
Since I talk about gratitude a lot, and I recognize the obstacles to getting a daily practice started, I thought I would try a 30 day challenge of my own! I hope you will join me. To get started, you will want a journal (any notebook will do but you may want a specific journal just for your gratitude practice) or if you are more digital, you may want to create a new note on your phone or use an app such as My Wonderful Days Lite. You will also want to sign up (see below) to receive my daily e-mail prompts for the 30 days. I will also tweet them out @SaraTMD if you prefer to follow along that way.
Once you sign yourself up, please feel free to spread the word to others that you know and think would be interested in seeing if this type of daily gratitude practice changes their life for the better. It is all part of living life intentionally, taking control of your life and making realistic changes in your life that will benefit your overall well-being. We will start the challenge on October 15th and finish on November 13th.
Thnx4 Digital Public Gratitude Journal – Greater Good Science Centre
Gratitude: The Most Powerful Practice You’re Not Doing – Marie Forleo
Want to be Happy? Be Grateful – David Steindl-Rast