What if you woke up today with only the things you were grateful for yesterday? Were you grateful for your ability to breathe? Were you grateful that you had friends who even though we have to social distance now are still there for you? Were you grateful for the chance to have another day to make an impact? Were you grateful for the internet that allows us to have access to education and/or our coworkers and family?

Today is World Gratitude Day and it is meant to be a day to express what and who you are thankful for. Even in the toughest of times, we have a lot to be thankful for and what I have learned is that were there is gratitude there is joy. So let’s elevate the level of joy today by practicing gratitude.

Here are a few ways you can celebrate World Gratitude Day not only today, but throughout the year.

  1. Write down things you are grateful for in a gratitude journal for 3 minutes.

While this is a great routine to practice all year long of writing down three things that you are grateful for each day, consider picking up a journal today, setting the timer and making a list of all of the things you’re thankful for in your life. These don’t have to be big things, you could be appreciative of someone saying hi to you as you went out on a walk or you could appreciate the smell of the Fall air.

2. Reflect on the challenges from your past.

Maybe you have experienced a loss, a health scare or battled with doubt or debt. Thinking about the rough patches you have been through and how you persevered can really help you feel grateful for making it through those dark times. Be grateful that you are not where you once were. Be grateful that you didn’t give up. Be grateful for the unexpected miracles that helped you through those challenging situations. Good things and bad things will continue to happen to us, the important thing is to remember that we don’t have to be grateful FOR the situation, but we can be grateful IN the situation.  There is no better day than World Gratitude Day to shed light on all that you’ve been through that helped get you to where you are now.

3. Give back to your community or someone who needs a helping hand.

Someone once said that if you have a roof over your head, food in your refrigerator and clothes in your closest you are 80% richer than most of the world. As you reflect on those three things, think about the people in your community who may be struggling. As I have studied the topic of joy, the quickest way to start to allow joy to flow in your life, is actually by giving joy away first to someone else. Today on World Gratitude Day, consider giving back to your community by volunteering at a local food drive or homeless shelter or make a donation to an organization like Africa New Life who is feeding the hungry in Rwanda. Think about what you have to share in your life and then consider giving to those in need.  

4. Write a note of appreciation

When I turned 40 I decided I would write forty notes of appreciation to people who have impacted my life in both big and small ways. I did this not because I needed them to write me back, but because I don’t want to leave this world with words unsaid. Who can you write a note of appreciation to today? A family member, a friend, your mailperson, your coffee barista, your coworker? The options are endless. Feel free to text them, email them or even snail mail them with your thankfulness. On this World Gratitude Day, let others know that you see them and appreciate not just what they have done for you, but who they are.

5. Spend time with your favorite people or in a favorite place.

Spend the day with the people you are most grateful for in your life. Take a trip to a place that means the most to you. Do an activity that refuels you. Spend the day soaking in the best parts of life. Go for good company, scrumptious food, beautiful views and nothing but happiness in your heart.

World Gratitude Day is a great reminder to give thanks for your life. Being grateful for all that you have, every experience you have had, every person who has made a difference to you, and every place you’ve been is humbling and memorable. Spend World Gratitude Day 2020 with a grateful heart and watch the joy unfold.