A 21 Day Challenge.
No better time than November to welcome everyone to my 21 Day Gratitude Challenge. Why give thanks? Bottomline, counting our blessings is good for us! Research shows the benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. Why 21 days? Because most experts agree that’s what it takes to establish a new habit and for many has proven to be manageable yet life changing. I have found it is through the consistency and accumulation of the practice where people will experience the most profound difference in how they feel and as a result wind up sticking with it well beyond this challenge.
How It Works:
1. Buy a journal, notebook or grab a blank pad, whatever you prefer, and find yourself a pen.
2. Write down a minimum of 3 things each day that you are grateful for. They can be as simple as having a perfectly hot and tasty cup of coffee that morning, a seamless commute into work or getting kids off to school, maybe a great workout or funny text exchange with a good friend that literally had you laughing out loud.
3. Be as specific as possible. Rather then just saying “I am grateful for my job”. State why. For example “I love the people I work with”. Or “I am grateful that my job allows me to have flexible work hours so I can still be available to my children”.
4. Try turning negatives into positives. For example:
• Though today I got stuck waiting over 45 minutes to be seen by my doctor I was able to catch up on my emails.
• Though now with a sprained ankle I can’t work out like I prefer, today I joined that mediative restorative yoga class I’ve been wanting to check out.
5. Shake it up, avoid duplicating your list. Try not to state the same things more than once-this is how you learn to flex your gratitude muscle.
6. Every day, review the list from the day before. And at the end of the week, read them all.
7. Most importantly stay consistent. Establish a routine, decide on a set time of day to reflect and write. If need be, schedule it on your calendar and have your computer/phone send you a reminder for the next 21 days.
My hope will be that once you become oriented toward looking for things to be grateful for, you will find that you begin to appreciate simple pleasures and things that you previously took for granted. Learning that gratitude isn’t just a reaction to getting what we want, but an all-the-time gratitude, the kind where we notice the little things and even the good in unpleasant situations.
Wishing Everyone A Very