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Last Updated on September 2, 2022 by Diane Hoffmaster
In today's fast-paced and materialistic world, it's easy to forget the things that we're grateful for. We often take for granted the people and things that make our lives rich and meaningful. That's why learning how to celebrate World Gratitude Day is so important. It's a day to stop and reflect on all the things in our lives that we're thankful for.
On September 21st, let's take a moment to remember the people and things that bring value to our lives. From our parents to our pets, from our favorite foods to our favorite places, there are countless things to be grateful for. Let's celebrate World Gratitude Day by expressing our thanks to the people and things that make our lives rich and wonderful.
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Origin of World Gratitude Day
The idea for World Gratitude Day first came about in 1965, at a Thanksgiving Day dinner in the meditation room of the United Nations building. Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual leader, and meditation teacher suggested that there should be a day of thanks that the whole world could celebrate together. Those present at the meeting pledged that each year on September 21st, they would hold a celebration of gratitude in their country.
In 1977, during a special ceremony that honored Sri Chinmoy, a resolution passed that officially recognized World Gratitude Day. Since then, this annual observance has grown to become a dynamic, worldwide expression of thanksgiving and appreciation.
World Gratitude Day has spread from one single United Nations meditation group to a worldwide event celebrated annually around the world. That is a whole lot of grateful people counting their blessings!
Why Is Gratitude Important?
Gratitude has been shown to have many benefits, both mentally and physically. Mentally, gratitude can help reduce stress and lower anxiety levels, improve self-esteem and sleep quality, and increase overall life satisfaction.
Physically, gratitude has been linked with lower blood pressure, improved heart health, and stronger immunity. With all these amazing benefits, it's no wonder why taking some time out of each day to practice gratitude is so important!
How to Celebrate World Gratitude Day
Here are some world gratitude day activities you participate in to help you feel grateful in our hectic and fast-paced world.
Write a letter or send a card to someone you're grateful for.
This could be a family member, friend, teacher, coach, or any other important person in your life. Tell them what you're thankful for and why they're special to you.
Make a donation to a charity or cause that's important to you.
Giving back is a great way to show your gratitude for all the blessings in your life.
Volunteer your time to help others.
Whether it's picking up trash in your neighborhood or volunteering at a local shelter, there are countless ways to give back and make a difference in your community. Find a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter and ask how you can help.
Take some time for yourself.
Reflect on all the things you're grateful for in your life. Write them down in a journal or share them with someone you love. Appreciating the good in your life is a great way to show gratitude.
Give yourself a gratitude challenge.
Want a real challenge? Say thank you to someone in person. Find someone who had a profound impact on your life and on World Gratitude Day, and approach them with a heartfelt thank you.
It isn't easy to express gratitude in person so this is a tough one for many people to do. If appropriate and inspired, give them a small but meaningful gift.
How to Make a Gratitude Journal
The benefits of gratitude journaling are well-documented. Studies have shown that expressing gratitude can improve our physical and psychological well-being, increase our resilience in the face of stress, and even help us sleep better at night.
If you're looking for a way to add some positivity to your life, why not give gratitude journaling a try? Here's how to get started.
Choose a journal.
This can be a traditional notebook or an online diary; it's up to you. Pick something that you'll be happy to write in every day. I like this floral gratitude journal notebook.
Decide how often you want to write.
Some people like to write in their journals every day, while others prefer to do it once a week. Choose what works for you and be sure to stick to it. The key is consistency.
Brainstorm a list of things you're grateful for.
When you're feeling stuck, refer back to this list for inspiration. If you're using an online journal, you can even create a dedicated gratitude page where you keep your list handy.
Guard your journal against negativity.
This is your personal space for positivity, so don't allow yourself to dwell on negative thoughts or experiences here. If something bothers you, write about it in a different journal or find another outlet for processing those emotions.
Be specific and concrete in your entries.
Generic statements like "I'm grateful for my family" are fine, but they don't provide much room for reflection or further thought. Try to come up with specific examples of things you're grateful for instead (e.g., "I'm grateful for my mom's support during my difficult times").
Not only will this make your journal more interesting to read back on, but it will also help you appreciate the good things in your life even more in the moment.
Celebrate your accomplishments.
Each time you complete an entry, give yourself a pat on the back—you're doing great! Keeping a gratitude journal is a simple but powerful way to bring more happiness into your life, so treat yourself with kindness and compassion throughout the process."
Gratitude journaling is a simple but effective way to boost your mood and improve your overall mood.
By taking some time each day or week to reflect on the things you're thankful for, you can train your brain to focus on the positive and let go of negative thoughts and experiences.
Why not give it a try? You might be surprised at how much better you feel. If you need tips to get started, read my post on bullet journaling for beginners.
How to Host a Gratitude Gathering
We all have so much to be grateful for, but sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the stresses of daily life and forget to express our gratitude.
One way to refocus on the positive things in our lives is by hosting a gratitude gathering. This is just a simple get-together with family, friends, or co-workers where everyone takes turns sharing what they're grateful for.
Not only is this a great way to build community and connect with others, but it's also a great way to boost your own mood and outlook on life. Here's how to host your own get-together on World Gratitude Day.
Choose a date, time, and place for your gathering.
If you're inviting people from out of town, be sure to give them plenty of notice so they can plan their trip.
Create a guest list and send out invitations.
Don't forget to include any pertinent information like the date, time, and location of the event.
Prepare some refreshments.
The food doesn't have to be anything fancy – simple snacks and drinks will do just fine. Finger foods work best. Try my pear crostini recipe.
Plan some activities.
If you know of a spiritual leader in your community, see if they can join your celebrations.
Set up a comfortable space for everyone to sit or stand in.
Make sure there's enough room for everyone to move around freely and that everyone will be able to hear each other clearly.
Set out seating.
Create a meditation room or separate area for anyone who would like to reflect on world gratitude day by themself.
Address the group.
Once everyone has arrived, welcome them and explain the purpose of the gathering.
Ask for participation.
Go around the room and have each person share something they're grateful for. After everyone has had a chance to speak, take a few minutes to reflect on all the wonderful things in your life.
Close the gathering.
End the get-together by thanking everyone for their participation and letting them know that they are always welcome back."
A gratitude gathering is a great way to refocus on the positive things in your life, connect with others, and boost your mood.
By following these simple steps, you can easily host your own gathering with friends, family members, or employees.
The Power of Gratitude
Why should you celebrate World Gratitude Day? Gratitude has been shown to have powerful effects on our overall outlook on life. In fact, studies have shown that gratitude can:
- Improve our physical health
- Enhance our psychological well-being
- Help us cope with stress and adversity
- Strengthen our relationships
- Make us more resilient
- Boosts the immune system
So if you're looking for a way to improve your health and happiness, look no further than gratitude. By taking some time each day to focus on the things you're thankful for, you can reap the many benefits that gratitude has to offer.
My final thoughts on World Gratitude Day
We live in a very fast-paced society, and it is often filled with negativity. Finding ways to celebrate World Gratitude Day will hopefully lead to more positive emotions in our lives.
Love, compassion, gratitude, recognition, and appreciation of the people who turn a bad day into a GREAT day for us. Those are some serious challenges when it is too easy to be overwhelmed by negativity in our daily lives. Sure, we remember to be thankful before we eat our Thanksgiving Dinner but what about the rest of the year?
So, I encourage all of you to join me in spreading gratitude past Thanksgiving Dinner and right into every single day of the year.
My grandmother used to say that every day she woke up was a great day. She lived to almost 95 so she had a lot of days to be thankful for.
Remember, every day that you wake up is a brand new day to be thankful for. Life is a gift. Food is precious. Success at work or a new baby. They are all reasons to celebrate World Gratitude Day. Come up with an idea and begin your gratitude journey today.
Now that you know how to celebrate World Gratitude Day, figure out the details to make it happen. Maybe you want to go for a hike and express your gratitude out in nature. Check out my post on hiking with teens and bring them along for the journey.
Have young kids? Check out my thankful tree craft and ask them what THEY are thankful for. Learning to be grateful together as a family is a great way to encourage family bonding. However you choose to celebrate, rejoice and be glad in your blessings this year!
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.