Gratitude is an every-single-day thing, but it’s nice to have a special day each year reserved for the remembrance of our thanks. To deepen your happiness this month, here are 5 easy ways you can partake in 30 days of gratitude.
“Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts of finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there’s always something we could be grateful for.” – Barry Neil Kaufman
If we’re not grateful not for what we have, why should life give us more to be ungrateful for? When we feel like we need things or things to happen to us before we can be happy, what we really need is a new set of eyes with which to see the things we are already blessed with. As Dr. Wayne Dyer once said, “Happiness is not something that you get in life. Happiness is something that you bring to life.”
We must bring to life our gratefulness, we must generate positive momentum, if we wish to experience a life of abundance and fulfillment.
Give thanks for what you have, who you are, who you love, and for the miracle of being alive and witnessing the universe as a human being for a little while. Show heartfelt appreciation for the small blessings bestowed upon you, for the compassion sent your way, for your willingness to forgive and for being forgiven. There’s always something we could be grateful for, and that’s exactly what this month is going to be about!
Here are five different (and easy) ways you can conduct 30 days of gratitude in honor of lasting happiness and inner fulfillment. Your gratitude is the way to living a rich and blessed life.
30 Days of Gratitude: 5 Ways to Give Thanks All Month Long
Start a Gratitude Circle
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward
Sitting down for a meal with friends and family is an often-overlooked blessing in life, and it’s one of the most opportune moments to give thanks. A gratitude circle is a wonderful way to get a group of people involved in 30 days of gratitude, and it only takes a short time to spark positive emotions around the table.
When the time comes to feast, clink glasses, or relax with a cup of coffee, take a moment to express what you’re grateful for today. What good things happened to you? Even the smallest blessing is a blessing worthy of expression. Once you’re finished, the person next to you takes their turn, and so on, until the circle is complete.
Make a Thanksgiving Advent
“Nothing new can come into your life unless you are grateful for what you already have.” – Michael Bernard
This is a way for the whole family to focus on their blessings every day and grow happier together.
I came across the concept of a Thanksgiving advent (aka, the “blessing countdown”) when I read Chrissy’s blog post about it at TeepeeGirl.com. I love the idea of celebrating the entire Thanksgiving season with a tradition of gratitude and joy in the form of an advent calendar. It can be a fun family activity that encourages everyone to join the 3o days of gratitude “challenge.”
Here’s how Chrissy explains the advent: “Every night in November, we gather together and list at least one thing that we are grateful for, but we can’t list the same thing twice. Every day we find a new blessing to be thankful for.” The majority of the work that goes into making the calendar is a one-time-only deal, too; you can reuse it year after year.
Everything you need to make the advent calendar, along with the free printables, is listed and available here.
Make 30 Grateful Connections
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” – John F. Kennedy
Each day, your mission is to connect with just one person in a spirit of gratitude. You can call them or send a text, an email, or a written letter expressing your appreciation for that person, something they did for you or others, an admirable quality of theirs, etc.
Connect with one person each day, in person or in any way–that’s the goal. You can include the same person more than once in your 30 days of gratitude, and you can reach out to more than one person each day if you feel so inclined. You can definitely direct your gratitude toward loved ones who have passed, too; that can be very healing.
It may help you to make a list of people you want to thank, one for each day, and expect to have others spontaneously added to the list as the month progresses. You never know what kind acts will transpire during the month.
Drop Notes into a Gratitude Jar
“When you meet obstacles with gratitude, your perception starts to shift, resistance loses its power, and grace finds a home within you.” – Oprah
Similar to the idea of a happiness jar (which I keep in the house and pick from almost daily, year round), a gratitude jar is something that can be worked more than one way. You can do either of the following:
- Write down one thing you’re grateful for today and drop it into the jar. At the end of the month, pull out all your notes and read them, or simply leave them in the jar and keep dropping notes in (and pull from the jar whenever you want).
- At the beginning of the month, write down 30 or more blessings (or inspiring quotes, positive thoughts, etc.) you can think of, and drop them into the jar. Every day throughout your 30 days of gratitude, pick one note from the jar.
Choose what works for you. Get the whole family or your significant other involved, and share what you’re putting in and picking up from the jar. The vessel is of your choosing; I use a glass pumpkin that I bought for a few dollars at a thrift shop.
Speak 30 Grateful Affirmations
“When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living.” – Tecumseh
Wake up with an affirmation every day for 30 days. Use it throughout the day to remind yourself of your gratitude, blessings, and happy intentions. End your evening with the words on your lips and in your mind.
The power of positive thoughts and words, repeated daily, undoubtedly spills over into the rest of your life. The magic is that you begin to give more weight to your joys than to the negative stories you’ve been telling (or listening to).
You can choose one affirmation for each day, one per week, or one for the whole month. Just be sure it’s something you can believe in, something that makes sense for you that day. Simply saying “thank you” when you wake up is enough.
Here are a few ideas for positive affirmations that can help you become more grateful, and thus happier this month. Click the link for that full affirmation and more variations you might try:
- How will you partake in 30 days of gratitude?
- What’s your favorite way to express gratitude?
- What are you thankful for having, enjoying, learning, and experiencing today?
Please share your own insights, ideas for 3o days of gratitude, lessons, and experiences with me in the comments.
Share this post with someone you love, care about, and wish the best for. Share it with someone you’re grateful for!
Showing gratitude is one of the simplest, most powerful things we can do for each other, and for ourselves.
Free fall wreath graphic by Place of My Taste; lettering by Aim Happy.