November comes around and suddenly you see friends participating in the 30 days of Gratitude challenge. My first thought each year is why November and why only 30 days? I thought maybe it had to do with Thanksgiving which is around the corner. I decided to dig into the history of the 30 Days of Gratitude only to come up empty handed.
According to Wikipedia: Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgement of a benefit that one has received or will receive.
I think it’s great that people are reminded by a challenge like this to find at least one thing each day that they are grateful for but do people only work on that 30 days out of the year? Or does it have any lasting impact changing their attitude for the remaining 335 days of the year? Research done by modern psychology are finding correlations between being grateful and the feeling of happy and that people that express gratitude on a daily basis are happier, less depressed and more satisfied with their life.
It takes the same amount of energy to create a positive thought as it takes a negative. So whenever I have a bad moment I try to turn it around by thinking about all the things I do have and are grateful for. Now, of course, we are only human and allowed a pity party here and there but the change in attitude really works. Instead of focusing on the things we don’t have we should focus on the things we do have and think positive thoughts.
Many years ago I decided to be grateful 365 days of the year. Many of them are daily gratitude’s such as:
The sun. For making plants grow and keeping me warm.
Water. All I have to do is to turn on the faucet. Amazing.
Furnace. I don’t have to be cold.
Grocery store. All I do is to go there to get my food.
Farmers. For all they do so that I can eat.
Work. A paycheck comes handy when bills arrive.
Friends. I may not see them daily but they are a just a phone call away.
My Mom. For the unconditional love she gives me.
Health. No matter what it could always be worse.
My challenge to you is to write down one thing every day that you are grateful for. On good days, on bad days and all the days in-between. And on days when you feel like life is throwing you a curve-ball stop everything you are doing, pause, and then focus on the things you do have instead of the things you don’t.
Remember, it takes the same amount of energy to create a negative thought as it does a positive. Which one will you spend the energy on? And what are some of the things that you are grateful for?
Positively Alene says
Love this post!! I’m trying to center my thoughts around being thankful more. You’re so right it takes the same amount of time, but I’m much more refreshed after thinking grateful thoughts. Blessings!
Thanks!! I agree, I feel so much more refreshed after thinking grateful thoughts too! It really does make a difference. 🙂
Maggie Bullard says
This is very inspiring…and since it’s a miracle if I can find a pen in my house ;), I think I will try to use the 10 minute drive to pick up my son from school, during which I can take just a couple of minutes to recenter – not just on my day, but on the things for which I am so grateful. As part of that, I’m going to add a few deep breaths too, since I don’t think we get enough of those during our days either, and they can go hand in hand with refocusing us on what is important!
Thanks!! Pens are never around when you need to find one, then when you don’t they are everywhere. I love your idea of using the 10 minute drive to recenter, take a few deep breaths and focusing on things for which you are grateful for. I tried that today driving home and I loved adding the “deep breath” part! Great idea!