Expressing gratitude is a simple gesture, but one that can bring amazing benefits to our lives and to our communities! As we have seen in our complete guide to gratitude, researchers are finding out that grateful people not only feel better but also sleep better, have more disposition for social interactions, have lower risk of getting anxious or depressed, and are more likely to help those around them.
It sounds pretty amazing, right? In a previous post, we presented you with a gratitude practice in the form of a 7-day challenge to get you saying “thank you” more often. This time we will do it for slightly longer: a 30 day gratitude challenge!
How does it work?
It is very simple. In this practice, you’ll have to complete a small gratitude-related task every day, for 30 days. Some of the tasks will be more reflective, and will ask you to think about things you appreciate. Others will be more active, and may ask you to engage other people.
We believe approaching gratitude in different ways is very important, as you get to experience various forms of perceiving and expressing it.
What if I skip a day of the challenge?
We suggest you to complete your gratitude challenge without skipping any days. Regular practice is important to get your mind to pay more attention to everything around you that you can be grateful for. However, if for one reason or another you do skip a day, we suggest you just do the exercise you missed in the end of the challenge, as an extra day.
Going out of your comfort zone
Some of the tasks might push you a little bit out of your comfort zone. We encourage you to do them anyway! Consistently pushing through our comfort zone is how we grow and develop. Of course, if you think that one particular task is not at all suitable to you, feel free to skip it; but in that case we recommend you repeat one of the previous tasks on that day, so that you keep a consistent practice.
Alright! Enough talking and let’s go on to our gratitude challenge!
30 day gratitude challenge
Before we start, get hold of a notebook and a pen or a computer. In many of the days you’ll be asked to write down different things.
Write down the names of at least 5 people you are grateful to have in your life (or that you are happy to have met at some point). Write down also why you chose those people in particular.
Choose at least two of the people whose name you wrote down yesterday and let them know you are grateful to them. You can write a thank you message, call, or just tell them in person how you feel.
Write down at least 5 things that happened in your life which you are glad to have experienced. Write a sentence about each of them, saying why that was important for you, who was involved, how you felt, etc.
Write down at least 5 things you are glad you own. Mention why you appreciate those things. Note: thinking about how it would be like not to have something can give you an idea of why you appreciate them.
Think of someone you are grateful to have in your life, and give that person a gift. It can be any kind of present: an object you think they will appreciate, a flower, take them out for dinner, take them to experience something new, or maybe something you make for them, like a drawing or a nice batch of cookies.
List at least 5 things about yourself which you are grateful for. Anything counts: physical traits, something about your personality, something you do and that you’re proud of… anything about you that you are grateful for! Don’t forget to briefly mention why you like those things.
Think about your family. (If you don’t have any relatives, think about the people who are closer to you). Write down at least 5 things about your family that you are grateful for, and why you are thankful for them.
Bring treats to the office and share with your co-workers. Don’t work in an office? Do it with any group of people that you might meet today: family, friends, etc.
Before going to bed, write down at least 5 things that happened to you today which you are grateful for. Anything good counts: having a tasty meal, meeting a nice person or an event you experienced.
Think of the city or neighborhood where you live and write down at least 5 things related to that place which you are grateful for. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy living where you do, try to find 5 things about it which you appreciate. It might be someone who lives there, a beautiful house, a nice tree or a garden you always pass by, something you learned because you live there… focus on the good things!
Think of someone you are thankful for or who you admire. Write a message to him or her showing your appreciation. You can think of something they did, or a certain quality in them that you are thankful they have, or something they represent to you, etc.
In our society, many important jobs are under-appreciated. Every day we cross paths with garbage collectors, cleaning crew, delivery people, store clerks, etc, which often don’t receive the appreciation they deserve for what they do. Today, when you see someone doing an underrated job, think about what you are grateful for regarding what they do, and let them know that.
Look around you. Pay attention to the place where you are at this moment. Write down at least 5 things you see, hear or feel which you are grateful for. It might be certain people, a objects, a color, a texture, temperature… anything you are glad to have around you. Say why you appreciate them.
Call someone to thank or show appreciation for something related to him or her. It can be something they did, or a certain quality in them that you are thankful they have, or something they represent to you and that you are thankful for, etc.
Think about the country where you live and its people. Write down at least 5 things related to it that you are grateful for, and why. If you are not a big fan of the country where you live, still try to find at least 5 good things about it. I’m sure they are there!
Think about your friends, or the closest people to you besides your family. Write down at least 5 things about them that you are grateful for. Don’t forget to also note why you appreciate those things and what they bring to your life.
Today, tell at least one person that you are thankful for something related to him or her. Do it personally, face to face. It can be something they did, or a certain quality in them, something they represent to you, etc.
Write a letter to someone you like saying “thank you” for something he or she did or just telling him/ her that you are grateful to have him or her in your life. Do it the old fashion way: Paper, pen and post it in the mail. This is guaranteed to make the person’s day when he or she receives the letter.
Think of one specific person who is important to you. Write down at least 5 things related to that person that you are grateful for. Mention also why you appreciate those things.
Think about nature around you. No matter if you live in the countryside or in a big city, pay attention to the plants and animals that surround you, look to the sky, think of the weather, etc. Write down at least 5 things related to nature that you are grateful for. Also mention why you appreciate those things.
Think about your work or studies. Write down at least 5 things related to it that you are grateful for and mention why you appreciate them.
Set an alarm to 4 different times during the day (for example: 10am, 12:00, 4pm, 8pm). Every time the alarm rings, stop for a minute and find something around you which you are grateful for.
Write down at least 5 things related to your current age which you are grateful for.
Think of a trip you have done or a place you have visited. Write down at least 5 things related to that trip or place which you are grateful for. Mention also why you appreciate those things.
Think about and write down at least 5 opportunities you have been given in your life and which you are grateful for. Write a short sentence saying why you appreciate those opportunities.
Think about a difficult period or a situation in your life. Write down 5 things about this period or experience which you are grateful for, and why. I know, it can be hard, but try to think about things you have learn, people you met, friends who helped you… Remember: Having a benefit finding mind is not about thinking that everything that happens is good. It’s about making the best of what happens.
Think about someone who has taught you a lot. Could be a teacher, a mentor, a family member, etc. Let he or she know you are thankful for all you have learned with him or her.
Throughout your day, write down at least 5 things which make you happy or make you smile.
Write down at least 5 things you learned by doing this gratitude challenge.
Go back and read all the things you wrote down during this challenge. Take a moment to appreciate all the people, things and experiences that you are grateful for in your life.
Congratulations!!! you have just finished our 30-day gratitude challenge. We hope you enjoyed the experience, and don’t forget to share your thoughts with us!