World Gratitude Day originally began in 1965 at a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Sri Chinmoy, a meditation guru and the director of the United Nations Meditation Group. Mr. Chinmoy suggested celebrating gratitude as a globally unifying holiday. Since then World Gratitude Day has been observed annually on the 21st of September in many countries around the world. (source: http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/sm-13)
7-Day Gratitude Challenge
Tomorrow is World Gratitude Day. Honestly, we here at My Grateful Life think every day should be World Gratitude Day but since there’s an officially observed day, we thought we’d take advantage and celebrate with a 7-Day Gratitude Challenge!
Join us in participating in our 7-Day Gratitude Challenge starting tomorrow – Thursday, September 21st on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. For seven days, we will post a gratitude challenge prompt in place of our usual daily journal prompt. Please share the reason you are grateful for someone or something. The idea is after 7-days of written gratitude expression, you will have more optimistic thoughts. The more positive energy you spill onto the page, the more smiles and good vibrations it will send around the world.
Other Gratitude Practice Ideas
Write Down Your Gratitudes
A regular gratitude practice has been found to boost happiness and benefit physical health. Take the time to start a gratitude journal, gratitude jar, gratitude wall, doodle your gratitudes, or even send unexpected thank you notes via email, text or snail mail.
Acts of Kindness
Acts of kindness are related to gratitude because doing something for someone else can help you become more mindful and increase feelings of empathy, compassion and gratefulness. Pay someone a compliment or encourage someone having a difficult day. Really care and listen to people during a conversation. Smile. Leave anonymous notes of encouragement in random places.
Be Fully Present
Bring yourself to the present moment and observe your current surroundings. Be grateful for the sights, sounds and smells. Appreciate the weather, the shelter you have over your head, modern day conveniences such as electricity and running water. Many people around the world don’t have the simple things we take for granted. Take notice of the kindness happening around you like people smiling at one another and helping others in need.
Family and Friends
Be grateful for those who support you. Family, friends, pets, support groups or online communities of like-minded positive beings. Focus on those who make you feel good and encourage the positive energy in you. If you are up for it, try expressing your appreciation to them in person or in a letter. It has much more power than just thinking it.
It’s easy to go through life doing a series of tasks, rushing from one place to another and forgetting to stop and smell the roses. There are many ways to remind yourself to be grateful. Make a gratitude rock by painting some words of inspiration on it and keep it in your pocket or bag. This will remind you to be grateful each time you see or touch it. Wear a bracelet or necklace to remind yourself to be thankful. Think of a sign-post reminder for the day. For example, a red stop sign. Every time you see a red stop sign during the day, think or say aloud something you are grateful for. Leave post-it notes everywhere asking, “What are you grateful for today?”.
Be grateful for yourself, your health and your ability to do things. Look at what you have, instead of focusing on the have-nots or perceived future challenges. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of the world. Practice self-love and self-care. Find quiet refuge from the fast-paced world with meditation, yoga, laughing, painting, running…basically any activity that brings you to a place of tranquility and calm. Remind yourself that what happens around you in life cannot be controlled but pausing and creating a peaceful inner world is needed for good health, mental well-being and happiness.
📷 Seth Doyle