Happy World Gratitude Day!
While World Gratitude Day has been celebrated on the 21st of September for more than 50 years, you can make any day a Personal Gratitude Day! Enjoy the benefits of gratitude, which can include:
- improved relationships
- better sleep
- improved physical health
- more emotional balance and resilience
- increased self-esteem and confidence
To celebrate World Gratitude Day 2016, I've created a new free colouring "poster" you can download: colour it in, note some things you're grateful for, and then use it as a happy daily reminder. Post on your bulletin board, fridge, mirror, etc.
Be sure when you're reflecting on what you're grateful for, that you can feel the feeling in your body. Noted positive psychology researcher Barbara Fredrickson points out that just thinking gratitude (but not actually feeling it) can actually be negativity in disguise–studies have shown such false positivity actually increases stress hormones. So to experience real benefits you need to feel heartfelt gratitude–the kind which starts from and is felt in the heart.
In my own experience, I've found that feelings of heartfelt gratitude can be fragile and fleeting, so I try to capture them by writing them down and putting them in my Happiness Jar. Sometimes the feelings are triggered by little day-to-day things; other times by more significant milestones or events. This morning I recorded a few small things which made me feel grateful:
- I've mainly recovered from a very bad bout of the flu.
- I realized in the moment that a baking experiment would fail and I was able to take steps to fix it before it became a disaster (unlike a similar experience last week!)
- I had already prepared most of my favourite breakfast last night, so it was ready to go this morning.
I hope you enjoy downloading this new colouring poster, colouring it in, and re-experiencing some of your own moments of heartfelt gratitude.