By nature, human beings love to neglect their blessings. They love to ignore what they have and continue to run after what they don’t. Once they achieve one thing, they practically forget to be thankful for it and they go on to chase those they do not have, all over again.
The British mathematician, Alfred North Whitehead holds, “no one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this helps with gratitude.”
As a rule of thumb, it is essential to express gratitude and bring to mind the things you should be grateful for. It would be best if you remember, you have to express gratitude to humans, nature, and several other elements of life. A simple “thank you” can brighten up another person’s day.
In this article, you will find a complete “30 Days of Gratitude” plan which will transform your life and your attitude towards it.
What Is Gratitude And Why We Should Be Grateful
To adequately express gratitude, you must understand what it means to be grateful. You must equally know why you should be grateful. The word “gratitude” itself means “a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.”
So, expressing gratitude implies that you are showing a thankful appreciation for what you have received. It actually goes beyond saying “thank you.” It gets deep into feeling appreciative of what you receive.
Benefits of 30 Days of Gratitude
Now that we have established the definition of gratitude, we should know the next thing that matters. Why should you be grateful? Does being grateful bear any benefits?
Here are five benefits of expressing gratitude:
#1. Gratitude improves your relationship with those around you
The act of being grateful shows you off as trustworthy, social, and appreciative. It also makes you much more approachable to those who are meeting you for the very first time. People tend to reciprocate acts shown towards them naturally. Starting an act of gratefulness would invariably create a cycle of gratitude cause like attracts like. This fosters more profound relationships.
#2. Gratitude positively affects your Physical Health
Asides from improving your social relationships, gratitude has also been shown to improve your health. Reports from various researches, including Emmons & McCullough have concluded that those who express gratitude more tend to experience and report fewer pains and aches in their bodies. They also tend to enjoy a general improvement in their overall well-being and physical state.
#3. Gratitude increases your self-esteem
Consistently being grateful has been shown to have an overall improvement on the self-esteem of an individual. A study carried out on several athletes showed that gratitude increased their self-esteem and helped them perform at an optimal level. Similar research conducted among workers also showed that gratitude removed resentfulness and allowed people to appreciate the accomplishments of others.
The more you take a look at life, the more you find reasons to be grateful. You will also begin to develop a culture of appreciation while reaping its benefits too.
Gratitude is a positive act that flows a positive emotion in our body and soul. The more you dwell in a state of appreciation, the more you cut down toxic emotions like envy, resentment, frustration, and regret. Gratitude has also been linked with better psychological health and reducing depression.
#5. Grateful people sleep better at night
If you have insomnia, this might be your way out. It has been proven through various tests, that gratitude journaling could well be the solution to sleep deprivation. Taking about 15 minutes daily to put down what you are grateful for each day could help improve the depth and quality of sleep of an individual.
How We Can Execute 30 Days of Gratitude
To begin with, it takes about 21 days to form a habit, and as such, 30 days of gratitude would be sufficient to cement the habit of being grateful in you. This 30-day guide will expose you to the areas of life you really should be grateful for.
Day 1: Gratitude for life
You are alive and can draw breathe from the atmosphere. You jump off your bed without a fuss. For this alone, you should feel grateful every morning. You are a thinking person with the ability to read and listen, understand, and comprehend. You didn’t get all of these because you deserved them. No one did. And now, you have one thing that so many people will never have again. Give thanks for life.
Day 2: Gratitude for your health
A lot of people live their lives within the walls of a clinic. They pay huge amounts for the basic things you enjoy—oxygen, water, excretion, and other things you do with ease. You can move your hands and legs without pain. Your eyes can function. You can hear with or without aids. You can pass out waste without the need for help.
You can take a breath, in and out without pipes. There are various reasons to be grateful for your health. No questions about it, you suffer from occasional illnesses. A fever, a common cold, the flu, but countless times you have come out of them all better. Some people came out worse or never came out at all. Give gratitude for your health.
Day 3: Gratitude for daily Provision
You have something to eat and you can gulp them down with your hands and digestive system. That is another reason to be thankful. It may appear like it is nothing special that you have something to eat every day. You only have to see a few documentaries on heartbreaking/ poverty-stricken parts of the world and you would be stunned.
Take a break from work and visit clinics where tracts are treated. You will never underrate the ability to have something to eat. Rather than worry about what you cannot afford to eat, you grow happier when you remain grateful and peaceful for those you can. Regardless of what provisions you enjoy, limited or abundant, be grateful.
Day 4: Gratitude for shelter
You have a roof over your head. You have a place to lay your head to rest, too. In case you haven’t noticed, those are other crucial reasons to be grateful. After the struggles of each day, you can always call a place home, somewhere you can rest with ease. If you have a family, you have somewhere you can enjoy quality time with your family. You have a house to make into a home, to make and keep memories. You can never be too grateful for this.
Day 5: Gratitude for nature
Many do not recognize the benefits of nature. Asides from the provision of oxygen that you cannot possibly survive without, nature creates a whole host of benefits for you. Think about the seasons and their tides, consider the rays of the sun and the evening breeze. Beyond aesthetics, this is your health, sustenance, and so many others. Nature doesn’t give it all to you for a fee. You owe some thanks there.
Day 6: Gratitude for something you take for granted
There are a lot of things you typically take for granted. They range from the basic essentials already highlighted above, down to the smallest of things. These could include the ease of traffic on certain days, the warmth of your family, the availability of drinking water, and the beam of smiles from your colleagues at work. Life can be hell without many of these things. They shouldn’t be taken for granted. You may not even say thank you to anyone. But you need to feel that gratitude.
Day 7: Gratitude for your family
You have a family, be grateful. You can be grateful for your spouse. You can be thankful for your siblings. You can be grateful for your children. You can be grateful to your parents. They have, in one way or the other, shaped where you are at this very moment. Being grateful for this set of people would always improve your relationship with them. Remember to show gratitude to them and for them.
Day 8: Gratitude for your friendly circle
Even if all you have is a true friend, you should be grateful for them. Friends just like family contribute in no small way to where you are at this very moment. Many have helped you out of difficult situations. Some have hurt you. Some still have accepted you the way you are. You should be grateful for them all for being a part of your life.
Day 9: Gratitude for your best friend or friends
Even amongst a host of friends, there are usually circles and best friends. Be grateful for your best friend. They often become the shoulders upon which you cry. They offer the best of advice and the goofiest of ideas too, but through thick and thin, they have your back. That is why they are your best friends. Be grateful for them.
Day 10: Gratitude for someone you got closer to who you didn’t expect to
There are situations where enemies turn into friends. Where the most unlikely of acquaintances become trustworthy companions, you should be thankful for these relationships. Relationships like this show the beauty and irony of life. According to surveys, they are often strong and reliable too.
Day 11: Gratitude for mentors and leaders
Some people motivate you. There are those who you look up to and try to take after. Be grateful for such people. People in this class keep your passion for progress ablaze. They inspire you to do better, aim higher, and become the best version of yourself. Do not forget to show gratitude for them.
Day 12: Gratitude for neighbors
No man lives in isolation, and I am sure you are not an exception. You live among old families, singles, bright ones, and those that appear a little bit dull. They might be friendly, pleasant, and accommodating, all the more reason to be grateful. They might be indifferent, rarely making contact with you, and at the least not stressful. Show gratitude. Your neighbors might be rude or outright hostile. There is a chance, expressing gratitude for the good they have done is a way to their hearts. Try it.
Day 13: Gratitude for something you like about yourself
Take time to examine yourself. There are things you would find remarkable and attractive about yourself. It could be a physical trait, a habit, a mental trait, a talent. It just has to be something you like about yourself. Show gratitude for such, and watch your self-esteem grow.
Day 14: Gratitude for a challenge you have overcome in the past
There are times you have flexed over obstacles and challenges that seemed impossible. Sometimes, with or without the help of others, you have powered through some “not so good circumstances.” Look back at these times. You only need one circumstance. Take stock of the fact that you are here while the challenge is a thing of the past. Be grateful for your strength.
Day 15: Gratitude for your most significant accomplishment to date
When you take a look at challenges, more often than not, they lead to accomplishments. You might not have a trophy room or an award cabinet, but you have your wins. Not minding if your victories are small or big, they are your accomplishments. Look for these accomplishments, pick the one that has the most value to you, and show gratitude for it.
Day 16: Gratitude for your hobbies
Do you have a hobby? Something you have the freedom to enjoy? Show gratitude for it. Many people do not have the luxury of enjoying a book or tap dancing. Nothing in life really interests them. You have a hobby that contributes to your general wellbeing, so be thankful.
Day 17: Gratitude for your talents
You can play an instrument with ease; singing comes to you with no stress; basketball makes you the king of the girls, or yours might be completely different. The talent you have can set you apart from the rest of the world around you. If well-honed, it can become a source of joy. Talent might seem relatively small to be grateful for, but the greatest basketballers would be grateful for their talent. You should also show your gratitude.
Day 18: Gratitude for memories
Memories keep experiences fresh in your mind. Memories could be good or bad. Without memories, you would be a shell of yourself. Memories help you enjoy moments long gone. They also help you learn and evolve. You should take out time to be grateful for this precious gift.
Day 19: Gratitude for your current place of work
Do you have a place of employment? Be grateful. You might not be entirely satisfied with the state of things where you work. You might desire a better position where you work. Being grumpy will not earn you that promotion or that shift. Rather be grateful and watch your attitude towards your work improve. If your attitude improves, you would work better and get that promotion you desire.
Asides from seeking promotion, just being grateful for the work that provides you sustenance no matter how little, seems logical. So, don’t forget about it.
Day 20: Gratitude for a coworker who makes life better at work
There is that coworker at work that makes life easier. It might be a friend, your partner on a project, or just the cleaner who offers you a heartwarming smile. Be grateful for them. They keep your spirits up and on some occasions maybe keep you out of trouble.
Day 21: Gratitude for something you like about your job
It might be the organizational structure of your office or the colors of your working space. There is always something to be grateful for at your place of work if you look for it. It would also boost your attitude towards your work. Find something at work and be thankful for it.
Day 22: Gratitude for a book, movie, or song that motivates you
There are some books, movies, and songs you listen to when you need a “pick me up”. They encourage you, either through their message or style or through other means. These books, movies, or songs should not be overlooked. They are worth being grateful for.
Day 23: Gratitude for a book, movie, or song that you simply enjoy
There are times you just take out a book for the sake of its relaxing powers. You watch some movies alone or with a company to enjoy its content. There are some songs you listen to for the feel and peace that come with them. Be grateful for these masterpieces, their authors, actors, and composers.
Day 24: Gratitude for technology and how it has made life easier for you
Where would you be without your phone? Technology has ushered the entirety of the human race into an age unimagined by those before them. You as a person, enjoy the benefits of technology even in the littlest ways. Traffic lights, the dishwasher, your cars, they all make life less stressful for you, why not show gratitude?
Day 25: Gratitude for each day you have been gifted to enjoy
“Every day is a gift, and that is why it is called the present”. Go into each day with gratitude. There is always a lesson to take from each day. Be grateful for the gift you have. You can still change; you can even move forward. Each new day is worth being thankful for.
Day 26: Gratitude for a particular lesson you have learned through a challenging experience
It is a fact that the journey of life is never really smooth. No matter how long or short your journey has been, you would have experienced some setbacks. Think back on those setbacks. There are valuable lessons to learn from. Pick the lessons and get on with life. As challenging as the moment was, you learned. Be grateful!
Day 27: Gratitude for a future event you have planned
Show gratitude for the fact that you have the ability to plan ahead. Be grateful because you also have the confidence that your plans would not be thwarted. The ability to look into the future and plan for events shows hope, and for hope, you should be grateful.
Day 28: Gratitude for your best personality trait
Question time. What is that personality trait people seem to appreciate about you? Are you kind? Outgoing? Friendly? Disciplined? Is there something people have time and time again pointed out that they appreciate about you? Learn to show gratitude for that trait of personality. It could be your endearing factor that brings joy around you. Don’t take it for granted, be grateful for it!
Day 29: Gratitude for your flaws
Yes! This is weird, but it is equally important. Many times, people tend not to accept or recognize their flaws. They think they are invincible and they focus on their strength. If you pay a critical look at things, nothing is interesting if you win all the time. It is fun to strive, to build upon your flaws, and to achieve. Showing gratitude for your weaknesses helps you to put them in perspective. You should be thankful that you have the ability to recognize your weaknesses, and work round the clock to improve upon them.
Day 30: Gratitude for Growth
Growth is essential for the progress of every human being. You have indeed grown over time, and you continue to grow. You have climbed over obstacles in your personal and professional life. You have accomplished a lot consciously or subconsciously, and you have grown in ways you cannot explain. While it is easier to identify some growths and some are not so obvious, you should be thankful for every one of them!
Completing your 30 Days of Gratitude plan, you now see clearly that there are a lot of things around you to be thankful for!
The more you take a look at life, the more you find reasons to be grateful for and watch the changes in your life!
I personally am grateful for going through my article and hope you found some value in it!
I would be happy to read in the comments section how the “30 Days of Gratitude” plan helped you and what the changes it brought in your life!