Researchers have discovered that daily expression of gratitude can be as effective for elevating mood as a daily dose of an anti-depressant. How can this be you may ask? Well the secret lies in that thoughts are more than just thoughts.
Thoughts are bio-chemical messages sent from your brain to your body. When you express a positive thought, such as gratitude, you are sending positive bio-chemical messages surging through your body and brain, which in turn affects how you feel. The reverse is also true. When you have a negative thought, such as anger, sadness, guilt, or regret, thousands of negative bio-chemical messages start surging through your body, easily triggering a snowball effect of more negative thoughts and feelings, increasing fear, depression, and anxiety.
Now I’m not suggesting you stop your anti-depressant if your doctor has prescribed one for you. But I am suggesting that you have the power to turn your negative emotions and feelings to positive ones by daily focusing on the positive and what you are grateful for. If you are on prescription medications, this daily gratitude practice can enhance your feelings of well-being, and under the guidance and approval of your doctor may allow you to reduce your medication dosage.
Regular practice of positive thinking can create a cascade of positive emotions, thoughts, feelings, and actions in your life. Your daily expressions of gratitude whether written in your journal or verbally expressed will trigger feel-good neurotransmitters in your brain and send feel good bio-chemical messages and feelings throughout your body.
This month I challenge you to naturally elevate your feel good feelings with a 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. Each day express at least one thing that you are grateful for that was different then the prior days. Boost the challenge benefits by expressing as many things that you are grateful for including at least one unique item each day that you haven’t mention before.
Below is my list of 30 things I am grateful for to get you started in this mood-boosting challenge:
- I am grateful for holidays that allow us to dress up and celebrate with friends and family.
- I am grateful for good food that nourishes and strengthens my body.
- I am grateful for the changing seasons and the reminder of the cycle of life.
- I am grateful for a body that allows me to think, move, feel, love, sing, and dance.
- I am grateful for my bed and blankets that comfort and snuggle me softly while I drift into dreamland.
- I am grateful for the sunshine that warms my face, brightens my world, and makes things grow.
- I am grateful for the stars that twinkle at night and grant me wishes.
- I am grateful for loving friends and family far and near.
- I am grateful for technology and the Internet that allows me to connect and make friends around the world.
- I am grateful for books that enlighten my mind, touch my heart, and strengthen my soul.
- I am grateful for music that fills my heart and expresses my emotions in ways words cannot.
- I am grateful for my husband who loves me, knows me, and means the world to me.
- I am grateful for delicious food that delights my senses and nourishes my soul and body.
- I am grateful for creativity that allows my inner child to laugh and express itself.
- I am grateful for hugs and caresses and the nourishing touch of another.
- I am grateful for contacts and glasses that allow me to see, for without them the world would be a blurry place.
- I am grateful for color for without it this world would be pretty gray.
- I am grateful for the animals on our planet for they make life interesting and share so much love.
- I am grateful for flushing toilets that take the stinky waste far away from me.
- I am grateful for beautiful flowers that brighten my day and make my world beautiful and sweet smelling.
- I am grateful for dark chocolate – the good for you sweet!
- I am grateful for cameras and photographs that allow me to re-live my memories and experiences.
- I am grateful for my car that takes my on many adventures and travels.
- I am grateful for the snow so I can go skiing, sledding, make snowmen, and wear comfy sweaters.
- I am grateful for bubble baths where I can relax and pamper myself for hours.
- I am grateful for hot running water that makes my hot baths possible.
- I am grateful for my sense of humor that makes many challenges laughable.
- I am grateful for yummy smells that delight and satisfy my senses.
- I am grateful for the Divine that guides me and gives me peace.
- I am grateful for being me because there is no one else in the world just like me.
I am grateful for YOU!
by Carolyn Almendarez
30-Day Gratitude Challenge – Are You In?
Share what you are grateful for in the comments below.
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Carolyn Flynn Almendarez holds a Master’s degree in Counseling with additional studies in Nutrition and Holistic Health. She provides a unique blend of mind-body solutions to create health, happiness, and loving relationships. She is a strategist, problem-solver, and intuitive guide. She believes every woman deserves to feel beautiful, serene, and happy. She is committed to helping women create lives they love. She is the author of SMART Talk, Heal Your Grief, and Holiday Peace and Joy.