30-Day Gratitude Challenge

By Carolyn Flynn

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:

  1. I am grateful for holidays that allow us to dress up and celebrate with friends and family.
  2. I am grateful for good food that nourishes and strengthens my body.
  3. I am grateful for the changing seasons and the reminder of the cycle of life.
  4. I am grateful for a body that allows me to think, move, feel, love, sing, and dance.
  5. I am grateful for my bed and blankets that comfort and snuggle me softly while I drift into dreamland.
  6. I am grateful for the sunshine that warms my face, brightens my world, and makes things grow.
  7. I am grateful for the stars that twinkle at night and grant me wishes.
  8. I am grateful for loving friends and family far and near.
  9. I am grateful for technology and the Internet that allows me to connect and make friends around the world.
  10. I am grateful for books that enlighten my mind, touch my heart, and strengthen my soul.
  11. I am grateful for music that fills my heart and expresses my emotions in ways words cannot.
  12. I am grateful for my husband who loves me, knows me, and means the world to me.
  13. I am grateful for delicious food that delights my senses and nourishes my soul and body.
  14. I am grateful for creativity that allows my inner child to laugh and express itself.
  15. I am grateful for hugs and caresses and the nourishing touch of another.
  16. I am grateful for contacts and glasses that allow me to see, for without them the world would be a blurry place.
  17. I am grateful for color for without it this world would be pretty gray.
  18. I am grateful for the animals on our planet for they make life interesting and share so much love.
  19. I am grateful for flushing toilets that take the stinky waste far away from me.
  20. I am grateful for beautiful flowers that brighten my day and make my world beautiful and sweet smelling.
  21. I am grateful for dark chocolate – the good for you sweet!
  22. I am grateful for cameras and photographs that allow me to re-live my memories and experiences.
  23. I am grateful for my car that takes my on many adventures and travels.
  24. I am grateful for the snow so I can go skiing, sledding, make snowmen, and wear comfy sweaters.
  25. I am grateful for bubble baths where I can relax and pamper myself for hours.
  26. I am grateful for hot running water that makes my hot baths possible.
  27. I am grateful for my sense of humor that makes many challenges laughable.
  28. I am grateful for yummy smells that delight and satisfy my senses.
  29. I am grateful for the Divine that guides me and gives me peace.
  30. 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.

Share your Gratitude on Facebook and Twitter too!

Share on Facebook at http://Facebook.com/HealthHappinessPeace
Share on Twitter at #GratitudeChallenge

Mind-Body Solutions for Health and Happiness, Carolyn AlmendarezCarolyn 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.

Carolyn Flynn is a Relationship Expert and author of Heal Your Grief, SMART Talk, and Holiday Peace And Joy.

40 Responses to “30-Day Gratitude Challenge”

  1. Jennefer says:

    This month was too hard for me to feel grateful for 30 days. Other months would have been easy, but this month was too much. I know I have a lot to be grateful for, but events have been too traumatic and so sometimes a person needs time in order to bring things into perspective. I have a friend who asked me to go out with her 3 times this month and I turned her down every time and now she is upset at me and thinks I don’t like her. She doesn’t understand that this is not a normal month and I need some time to not be myself or feel pressure to be social. I am grateful for her efforts, but wish she could be understanding. I have learned some new lessons and have been trying to make changes. I have a lot going on in my own world. Others always want to see people better and back to normal right away, but it just doesn’t work like that. I own a gratitude journal that is empty, and hopefully I will reach a point where I can start writing in it. Probably January. It will be my New Years resolution.

    • Jennefer,

      Be kind to yourself. You were wise to turn your friend down. We can’t give from empty wells. There are times in our life when the best we can do is get up and face the day. Nurture and love yourself. Rainbows follow storms. In time this will pass and you’ll be able to return to your “normal” routine stronger and wiser than you were before.

      Take all the time that you need to heal. Friends and family may not understand what is going on, how they can help, or why you aren’t bouncing back to your old self. If they get upset or want you to heal faster, that is their problem, not yours. True friends will give you the space you need and be there for you when you are ready for them. When you feel strong and ready to socialize reach out to your friend. Right now you need to focus on you and nurturing yourself.

      Gratitude is a good tool for healing. Try to think of something each day that you can be grateful for. If you can’t think of anything, try again tomorrow. When you are able to acknowledge something you are grateful for, that will be a sign that you are on the path of healing.

      Love and best wishes to you,


  2. Linda says:

    Thank-you Carolyn for this opportunity to count my blessings and give Thanks. May we all remember to put Christ into our Christmas by counting our blessings instead of our “wants”.

    • Linda,
      You’re welcome. Thank you for participating in this 30-day Gratitude Challenge. May your Christmas holiday and years to come be filled with love, thanksgiving, and joy.
      Many blessings to you!

  3. Linda says:

    Nov 30 – Thankful for the season’s of our lives. Not just nature’s spring, summer, fall and winter and not just the holiday seasons though I like them too. But it is the seasons of our lives where dreams and reality change as we grow adding experiences and knowledge and most of all extending our circle of friends and family that lasts beyond a life time. Family is the key. Thank you to my family, for you are my best friends for all eternity.

    • Linda,
      Thank you for being a part of my life and sharing your wonderful wisdom and gratitude.

  4. Linda says:

    Nov 29 – Thankful for this stage of life when I don’t have to worry about “Black Friday” sales

  5. Linda says:

    Nov 28 – Thankful for Thanksgiving Day a time when people all over the nation gather together with family and friends to give Thanks to God for the blessings of love. (And for the conveniences in home such as ovens, stoves refrigerators and freezers to make the feast easier to prepare and to store so we can enjoy the left overs.

  6. Linda says:

    Nov 27 – Thankful for beautiful crisp sunny autumn days that make traveling to family safe and enjoyable.

  7. LF says:

    Nov 26 – Thankful for my husband who is celebrating his birthday today. I’m thankful for his faithfulness and dedication to the Lord, to me and to his family. I’m thankful for his business sense and ability to adapt and learn. I’m thankful for his interest in family history and missionary work and for all of the adventures we’ve enjoyed together. Happy Birthday Michael!

  8. LF says:

    Quote from my sister in law’s Thanksgiving Letter – “Both abundance and lack (of abundance) exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend… when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present – love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure – the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”
    Thank-you Janice

  9. Linda says:

    Nov 25 – Thankful for good health and medical advances that helps to keep us living better and longer

  10. LF says:

    Nov 24 – I’m thankful for the gift of life

    Every day is a happy day, because it has been given to us by God.
    Greta Schenkels-Devliegher:

  11. Linda says:

    Nov 23 – I am thankful for finding my box of Legos it makes my grandchildren happy when I tend them

  12. Linda says:

    Nov 18 – I am thankful for Tate especially today on his birthday for he is one very smart, creative, fun you man and now a teenager
    Nov 19 – I am thankful for my ancestors who were faithful in the Gospel and taught their children so that I might have it in my life
    Nov 20 – I am thankful for a house built of brick so that it doesn’t fall down with the big bad wolf (the canyon winds) blows
    Nov 21 – I am thankful for a day off that allows me to sleep in past 7 am
    Nov 22- Friday we received our recognition certificates for completing the apprentice journal at the Family History Center, we are thankful that we’ve already gone through this a couple of years ago so we know a little more this time

  13. Linda says:

    Nov 14 – Thankful for grandchildren and the different ways that we connect
    Nov 15- Thankful for the all of the additions for familysearch.org so that we may connect with our ancestors as well.
    Nov 16- It snowed today! How thankful I am for the moisture and even more important to me is the beauty, serenity & peace I feel as I look over the crystal white blanket of snow. Thankful there was enough snow that my daughter and granddaughter could build snow sculptures
    Nov 17- Thankful to have Prophets today to guide us and direct us along the path that God knows is best for us

  14. LF says:

    A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;
    an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
    Winston Churchill

  15. Linda says:

    Nov 11 – Thankful for the health to walk around the block with my husband on a crisp autumn day

    Nov 12 – Thankful for the opportunity at Relief Society to help make things to donate to the children at Primary Children’s Hospital and for the good care they’ve given some of my grandchildren when they were in need

    Nov 13 – Thankful for my granddaughter who is celebrating her 5th birthday. She really knows how to live life full of energy. She is definitely sugar and spice.

    • Linda,
      That’s wonderful that you and your husband go walking. Autumn is a beautiful time to enjoy the weather and each other’s company.

  16. LF says:

    Nov 9 – Thankful for a safe flight home with only 1 stop, no change of planes and the long part of the flight only being half full so we had plenty of room to spread out.
    Nov 10 – Thankful for friends at Church who said welcome back they missed us. It’s nice to be noticed and thought of.

  17. Linda says:

    Nov 7 – Grateful for foggy/misty days as they tend to drawn your thoughts inward and to reflect on one’s relationship to self, people & God.
    Nov 8 – Grateful for the return of a sunny day that lifts the spirit and projects out thoughts outward service to others.

    A highly favoured people, mindful of their dependence on the bounty of Divine Providence, should seek fitting occasion to testify gratitude and ascribe praise to Him who is the author of their many blessings.
    Benjamin Harrison

  18. LF says:

    There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.
    By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.
    Robert Louis Stevenson

  19. Linda says:

    Nov 4 – I’m thankful for Mondays for family home evenings that brings us together and reminds us of important Gospel teachings especially about families
    Nov 5- I’m thankful for computers and technology that allows us to work and stay connected to friends and family no matter where we are
    Nov 6- I thankful for friends I’ve made from our different missions. Today one of those friends from Georgia who we served with at the Family History Center in SLC is coming to visit us in NC (their daughter lives a few hours away). I am thankful that they are willing to drive down to visit us.

  20. Sandra says:

    I am grateful for my family, my health, good books, friends, prayer, my body, and the holidays.

    • Sandra,
      Those are wonderful things to be grateful for. They bring happiness to the mind and soul.

  21. Jennefer says:

    I am grateful for kind and caring people and all of the things you mentioned.

  22. LF says:

    Nov 1 – Thankful for having a wonderful Halloween yesterday
    Nov 2- Thankful for a quiet walk in the forest where I saw a butterfly that looked like a leaf until it moved
    Nov 3- Thankful that I have plenty of food everyday so fast day only comes once a month

    • Those are wonderful! I love butterflies and that would have been amazing to see a “leaf” transform into a butterfly. 🙂

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