What Is Gratitude Day?
According to HolidayInsights.com “World Gratitude Day was started in 1965 at the International East-West Center in Hawaii during a Thanksgiving Dinner. At the dinner, attendees pledged to hold a Gratitude Gathering the following September 21st in their home countries.”
Why Is Gratitude Important?
Practicing gratitude is linked to a wide variety of benefits – everything from increasing positive emotions (such as optimism, joy, and happiness), increasing physical and emotional resilience (strengthening immunity, being able to tolerate pain better, improving self-esteem), improving relationships (feeling more connected to others, being compassionate and kind), and even increasing productivity (increase in creativity, lowering stress, promoting feelings of camaraderie). It’s even linked to reduced feelings of anxiety and depression as well as feeling more connected to their community. Is there anything this magic potion can’t do? Here are some ideas on how to participate in cultivating a grateful living.
Ways To Practice Gratitude
- Love yourself
Be thankful about something about yourself. It could be a physical trait, a circumstance, or a personality trait. Think of all the wonderful ways this trait or circumstance has brought happiness to your life. I know that I am always figuring out how to be a better mom, wife, daughter, friend, and citizen of this world. Just today, say to yourself “I am enough”.
- Thank friends & family
Think about someone who has influenced you – someone who made you a better person. Could be a mentor at work, a parent who taught you about perseverance, a friend that was there for you during a rough time, or a teacher that believed in you and guided you through college. Contact them and let them know how much they mean to you.
- Be kind to strangers
We can all use more kindness and generosity in our lives. Buy coffee for the the person behind you in line, or say “good morning!” to everyone you pass by on your walk, or give a dollar to the next beggar you come across.
- Be an active part of your community
There are many things you can do for your community. You can volunteer, pick up trash while you go for a walk, donate money or books to your local library.
- Appreciate what you have
Everyone always wants more in life. It’s a human trait to want to strive for more. Take a moment and think of all the wonderful things you already have, right now – quiet evening, healthy children, delicious meal, and thoughtful friends.