November, the month of American Thanksgiving, seems like the perfect time to launch our 15 Day Gratitude Challenge. Putting aside some time to remember the things we are thankful for is an effective way to practice mindfulness. The benefits of naming the things that make you feel grateful can include improved physical and mental well-being. Couldn’t everyone use a boost?
How you want to do the challenge is up to you. If you want to do it privately, choose a diary to record your thoughts or start a file on your computer or in your phone. You could find or take pictures, or use words to record your thoughts each day. If you are comfortable with a more public display, why not employ social media? Post a picture every day on Instagram that embodies what makes you grateful, create a Gratitude board on Pinterest, or share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter (#ForestersGratitudeChallenge). Tag your friends and encourage them to join you on the challenge. Remember, these are just suggestions and leaping off points for you to focus your gratitude, feel free to interpret each day’s proposed idea in any way your imagination takes you. If you want to follow these suggestions, bookmark this page so you can return to it quickly.
Days 1 to 5: Things
You only need to turn on the TV or read the headlines of a magazine to see we live in a world that prizes material goods. It is somewhat of a paradox then that we aren’t often encouraged to give thanks for the things we have openly. We aren’t saying you need to be boastful, but here is your chance to acknowledge the abundance you may be lucky enough to have in your life. So, during the first five days of the challenge focus on the things in your life that are fantastic:
1) A gift someone gave you
2) A food you enjoy
3) Something that makes you feel comfortable
4) Your favourite movie or book
5) The place in your home you feel best
Days 6 to 10: People and Love in your Life
Family, friends, passing acquaintances, and support people who make our lives easier and better in countless ways are deserving of our gratitude. For the next part of the challenge, make the leap from things to people. Each day focus on a person in your life who fits into one of the following categories. Be specific in your thoughts. How has knowing this person enriched your life? Are you able to share your thoughts with them? Would you if you could?
6) A friend
7) A child
8) An elder
9) A mentor
10) A helper
Days 11 to 15: Focus on You
Now that you have gotten the hang of your attitude of gratitude, you may be ready for something you may find a little tougher. Outside of a work setting, getting the chance to revel in the joy of your accomplishments is a rare thing. For the final five days of the challenge, you are encouraged to give thanks for the things you can do, the skills and knowledge you can share, and the intangible things you have won because of adversity you faced.
11) A skill you have acquired
12) Knowledge you possess
13) Something you do well naturally
14) Something that makes you special
15) A lesson you have learned from hardship
At the end of your challenge, you may find yourself more easily naming the things that fill you with gratitude. Hopefully, you have found this to be a meaningful exercise that you can carry with you as we head into the holiday season.
What makes you feel grateful? If you are comfortable sharing your challenge, please use the hashtag #ForestersGratitudeChallenge so we can follow your journey of gratitude.
416937 CAN/US/UK (11/18)