Saturday, October 31, 2009

Take the 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge

Photo credit

Thanksgiving is traditionally known as the holiday for giving thanks and expressing gratitude for our fortunes. We should ideally act this way all year long, but unfortunately acts of thankfulness aren't always top-of-mind. So instead of waiting for Thanksgiving, why not express gratitude throughout the entire month of November?

I got an e-mail from a friend the other day encouraging me to take part in the 30 Days of Gratitude challenge. According to the project's Web site, scientific research shows that practicing gratitude on a daily basis can increase your happiness and life satisfaction. The goal of this project is to bring people together to practice gratefulness during the month of November.

Sounds cool, right? To get started, register on the site and choose if you want to share what you're grateful for once a day or weekly (you'll receive an e-mail reminder to submit your gratitude daily or weekly, depending on which you choose). You can submit a gratitude of your choosing or one that goes along with the theme of the day. There are different ways to participate (as an individual, family, with someone who doesn't have access to a computer, etc.), so check out the Web site for the details.

The Hagopian family (I ALWAYS see commercials for the family's rug cleaning business) is the brains behind this creative project. According to the friend who sent me the e-mail, Edgar Hagopian is one of the most generous benefactors in the Michigan Armenian community. The family grew tired of all the gloom and doom in Michigan, so they decided to do something to bring people together to celebrate the positives rather than focusing on the negatives. They've reached out to people beyond Michigan, and now 29 states and 10 countries are participating in this project.

I know what you're thinking, because it was my initial reaction, too: I don't have time to do this. Seriously though, when you really think about it, it will take all of five minutes to do this daily. I'm confident I can think of 30 different reasons why I'm grateful. If practicing daily gratitude really helps elevate happiness, then imagine what 30 straight days of showing gratitude can do for your overall outlook on life.

I'm really looking forward to getting started on this tomorrow, and I'm interested to read what others submit. Leave a comment or ping me to let me know if you're sucking it up and doing the 30 Days of Gratitude challenge!