What are you grateful for today? Friends, family, job, health, a house, pets, children — those are all great things to start with. Or what about fall foliage, hot sauce, indoor plumbing and a cozy sweater? Just look around you — we have a lot to be thankful for.
All that gratitude doesn't just produce a warm, fuzzy feeling, it's actually good for your health! In a 2013 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, researchers found that grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feel healthier than others.
A 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being found that people who journaled for 15 minutes about what they were grateful for slept better than those who didn't journal.
And researchers at UC Davis Emmons Lab have found that people who kept gratitude journals:
- Exercised more regularly
- Reported fewer physical complaints
- Experienced better sleep quality and duration
- Felt a greater sense of connection to others
- Were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals
- Had higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy
- Felt better about their lives as a whole
To reap all of these benefits, all we need to do is record and take note of items we are thankful for. Since November is the month where we celebrate Thanksgiving in the U.S., we are doing a daily gratitude challenge. Will you join us?
How to Do the Challenge
Step 1: Begin paying attention.
Was your lunch today particularly good? Did you listen to one of your favorite songs while driving in your car? Were the clouds in the sky in a beautiful pattern?
Step 2: Write it down.
Each day, write down one thing that you are grateful for. You can print out the daily calendar we’ve created.
Step 3: Share your progress.
Join our 30 Days of Thankfulness Challenge Facebook Group for motivation and challenge updates. Finally, you can share your daily gratitude on Twitter using the hashtag #30DaysOfThanks.
Recording your gratitude should take you only one to five minutes per day. This is such a small amount of time to spend on something that can give you tremendous happiness and health benefits.
Click here to get the larger version for printing.
What Do YOU Think?
Did you try this challenge last year? If so, what was your experience like? Have you ever tried keeping a gratitude journal? What are some tips for someone who is just starting? Share your thoughts in the comments!