What is the first thing you do as soon as you open your eyes each day? Do you start your day with something positive, or something negative? Each day we have the opportunity to start our day off in a positive way by expressing gratitude. Gratitude is really about expressing thankfulness for what we already have in our life. Living a life of Gratitude is something that you can teach yourself to include and, before you know it, you won’t even have to think about doing it anymore. You will just do it!
Benefits of Gratitude include:
- Improves sleep
- Reduces anger and enhances Empathy
- Creates higher self esteem
- Improves both physical and emotional health overall
- Creates better relationships
- Opens you up to receiving positive energy exchanges
- Creates a stronger connection with your faith
- Allows you to change your perspective of the world around you
Living a life of Gratitude 21 Day Challenge:
A habit is formed in 21 days. So, why not form a positive habit to live a life of gratitude? You can do this in a group or individually. Participating in the challenge doesn’t require a special tools. The only requirement is a desire to make a positive difference in your life. Commit to the challenge, by just telling yourself you will do the best you can. Ideally, you would do something every day for the 21 days. But, if you miss a day here or there that is okay. As long as you are trying you are already succeeding in taking steps to live a life of gratitude. Before starting the challenge, I want you to write a note to yourself that you will open on the 21st day of the challenge. You can write about what you hope to learn or become enlightened about on this 3 week journey. You can write what you would like to do as an expression of gratitude on the last day of the challenge, or a reminder of why you did the challenge, or the promise to continue to live a life of gratitude after the challenge. It can even be a thank you note to yourself for completing the challenge. The letter can include anything you want, it can be a sentence or a paragraph. Once you write it, seal it and place it somewhere safe and don’t open it until the last day of the challenge. Here are 21 ideas for how you can partake in this life changing challenge! You can do all of them, one of them or pick and choose the ones that work for the areas of your life. Remember the more you give of yourself to this journey the more you are going to get out of it at the end. What you do with it is up to you.
- Keep a Gratitude Journal: For 21 days, keep track of all the things you are grateful for in your life. Then, at the end of the 21 days, review what you have written over the 3 weeks and watch how in that time you have received additional blessings in those areas.
- Say thank you to a soldier
- Express gratitude when a stranger does something nice for you like hold open a door, or allows you to go in front of them, then pass along that gratitude and do the same for a stranger.
- Hold a 5 minutes or less gratitude session with yourself. By simply taking a few minutes a day to express your gratitude to yourself, God, Source, Universe, etc. you are keeping that positive exchange of energy increasing the overall wellbeing of your mind, body, spirt.
- Create a Gratitude affirmation for something you are struggling with, and for 21 days recite the affirmation daily, and whenever you may be thinking about the problem.
- Post only positive articles, photos, messages etc. on your social media for 21 days.
- Say a Gratitude prayer daily. There are both really good religious and non-religious prayers available on the internet. The key is to pick the one that resonates with you the most. You can even just pray and praise God, Universe or Source for what is in your life.
- Express thanks to the people in your life who make a positive impact.
- Express Gratitude for something that didn’t go your way, only for you to realize that you had something better in store for you.
- Pick a different topic for each day and express to yourself and others something you are grateful for regarding that topic. For example, health, wisdom, friendship, family, your spiritual path, etc.
- Struggling Financially? Why not use the 21 days to create a more grateful attitude towards our finances. Instead of saying, how am I going to pay this, say “Universe/ God, thank you for providing this…”
- Heard of Vision Board? Why not make a Gratitude Board! Take a poster board and place images of everything you are grateful for and look at it every day for 21days to remind you of all the wonderful things you have in your life.
- Does music inspire you to have a grateful attitude? Make a playlist with your favorite tunes to listen to throughout the day to keep your mind and soul thankful.
- Looking to create a better relationship with food? Expressing gratitude for the nutritious food you have access to before each meal will help you reinforce making healthy food choices to fuel your body and not feed your emotions.
- If you are in a relationship, do the challenge together with your partner and, each day, share something about why you are grateful for the other person. Find unique ways to share the experience with your partner, through thank you cards, sticky notes, a note on a napkin they will see later in the day. Be creative and have fun with this one and watch how at the end of the challenge your relationship is that much stronger and you are able to express gratitude more easily with each other in a language you can both understand. You can also do this particular exercise with your children as well and engage them in process of expressing gratefulness.
- Passing the gratefulness at dinner: If you would like to do a family event, have everyone before dinner go around the table, and express what they are grateful for that day.
- Create a routine of when you first walk up in the morning, before your feet hit the ground, say thank you for the day you are about to have. Then, at the end of the night, while you are getting back in bed, express your thanks again for your day. Here is what I like to say in the morning, “ Thank you God for today, thank you for anointing me with health and allowing me to live today the way you intend for my purpose.” Then at night, I simple restate “ Thank you God for today” then I continue with any evening prayers or things that happened during the day that I am grateful for.
- Each day our body works hard for us. Yet, how often do we take time to thank it for all it does and not just except it to do what we need it to do. We often don’t realize we take it for granted until we get sick or it stops working at its optimum state. Spend time over the 21 days to thank your body for all it does for you and make a commitment to learn to listen to it better to create a stronger relationship with it so you can continue to be grateful for it far beyond the challenge.
- Read a book about gratitude and look for ways that you can incorporate the methods you learn into truly living a life of gratitude. There are many books available online about gratitude. Go with your intuition with which one is the one you need.
- Practice gratitude breathing during yoga, pilates, meditation or any other spiritual or physical exercise you may do. Here is a great article about gratitude breathing: http://wildaboutwork.com/improve-your-life-with-gratitude-breathing/
- Make a gratitude jar. Have someone really special in your life? Why not write down 21 reasons why you love about them, why you are grateful for them, how amazing they are, and any words of encouragement and place it in a jar and give it to them. This will allow them to pull a small note of gratitude anytime they may need an emotional pick me up. These make great birthday, holiday and “just because” gifts!
There are many other ways that you can incorporate gratitude into your life. Get your friends and family involved in your challenge and watch the abundance overflow in your life, really placing perspective on what matters most in your life. As we enter into the month of November, we all tend to become more aware of what we are thankful for as the holidays approach. That is why we will be running our challenge November 5th 2015 through November 25th, 2015. You can start your 21 day challenge at any time. But, if you would like to participate along with us and our online community and receive encouraging inspiration along the way you can join our event at https://www.facebook.com/events/1069999319700228/ . With our event ending the day before Thanksgiving, the most popular day in the United States to give thanks, why not truly know what it is like to experience gratitude and see how your life can change in the most amazing ways and make it a day of Gratitude all around the world. “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle
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