The mindful Gratitude Challenge

View More: http://angieafmanphotography.pass.us/merryportraitsAre you looking for a Gratitude Challenge that cultivates mindfulness and the attitudes that support it? Look no further, as you have found it.

This following mindful Gratitude Challenge originally ran from Nov 1- Nov 24, 2016. However, the challenge is available for you to do at any time, and six more days will be added so that you have a month’s worth of gratitude activities you can do to support building that grateful and mindful mindset.

What is gratitude and why is it important? Gratitude is a state, an emotion, a trait and strengths, and a way of  being. Gratitude is a state, where we recognize we have benefited from a gift that cost the benefactor something. This gift is for our benefit, without the desire for reciprocity. Gratitude is a positive emotion that boosts our immune systems, our psychological resources and our social connections. Gratitude is a trait, in that it can be instilled as a characteristic in our personalities, as we bring this emotion into many aspects of our life. It can be a strength we see inside ourselves as well. Finally, Gratitude is a way of being, as we can embody and see the world from the filter of gratefulness, allowing it to touch all aspects of life. Read more about this emotion at the Greater Good Science Center and at Gratefulness.org.

What is mindfulness and why is it important? Mindfulness is an awareness and way of “being” that enables us to focus on our direct experiences via our senses, the mind and the environment in the present moment, in a kind, non-judgmental and accepting way. It’s important for it helps us “see things more clearly”, from how they are and not how we are. Mindfulness reminds us that thoughts and emotions are just like sensations, that have a beginning, middle and end, and shows us that we can “be” with whatever arises in life– good or bad. Mindfulness leads to gratitude as we see the miracle in everyday living. Both mindfulness and gratitude can build our inner resources and resilience, which is something all beings need to be well.

How to best take this challenge? There are many ways you can participate in the mindful Gratitude Challenge. You can:

  • Start right where you are, assessing your gratitude levels by accessing the Gratitude Quiz .
  • Start on today’s date– the number of this day, so that you can keep track of where you are.
  • Start from the beginning and keep track of what day you are on.
  • Or you can skip around and practice the activity that resonates with you.

However you start it, be sure to do this challenge for at least 3 weeks, as that is how long it takes to build a new habit. What we know from science is that when we start priming our brain to look for the good, we start to see it more. This view supports that old adage, “What you focus on grows.”  Now, get started growing:

Week 1: Days 1-7

Week 2: Days 8-14

Week 3: Days 15-21

Week 4: Days 21-24

Week 5: Days 25-30 (coming soon)