World Gratitude Day is observed on September 21 every year. This day gives all individuals, societies, organizations, and countries a chance to celebrate the occasion of gratitude and give thanks to each other.
Origin of World Gratitude Day
The idea to celebrate World Gratitude Day came first in 1965 during a Thanksgiving dinner in the meditation room of the United Nations building.
Sri Chinmoy, an Indian spiritual leader, and meditation teacher, suggested a day of gratitude that the whole world could celebrate together.
With that, each member present decided to hold a gratitude gathering each year in their country on September 21.
Then, in 1977 a group that ran the meditation room requested a resolution that would give recognition for World Gratitude Day.
This happened at the New York Headquarters during a special ceremony that honored Sri Chinmoy for his work.
Ever since then, World Gratitude Day has been observed annually worldwide.
What is Gratitude?
Gratitude is the awareness and expression of the of blessings that one has in the form of qualities, lessons, people, achievements, possessions, support, privileges, experiences, and gifts.
Gratitude is often related to humility, generosity, and mindfulness.
Gratitude has several positive health benefits:
- Feel more positive emotions
- Build healthier relationships
- Feel happier
- Increase in self-esteem
- Increase optimism
- Reduces materialism
- Reduces depressive symptoms
- Improves sleep
- Helps in substance abuse recovery
It’s quite surprising, isn’t it? Something as simple as being grateful for what we have and receive can have a multitude of positive impacts. But, at the same time, it’s very obvious.
In moments of genuine, overflowing happiness, we have felt grateful.
“In daily life, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”
― Brother David Steindl-Rast
So, having a day of gratitude is another reason to feel grateful in our lives. Now, let’s explore some ways that we can celebrate World Gratitude Day, on September 21, and every day.
How to Celebrate World Gratitude Day
Here are 7 ideas to help you celebrate World Gratitude Day, and also form a habit of practicing gratitude as it is through consistency that we experience the benefits of gratitude.
- Start a gratitude journal
- Do a gratitude challenge
- Write gratitude letters
- Take my gratitude course
- Listen to gratitude affirmations
- Join a Gratitude Group
- Make a Gratitude Tree
1. Start a gratitude journal
Gratitude journaling is by far the most popular method of practicing gratitude. It is an activity of writing down what you are grateful for in that moment, in that day, or in your life.
With gratitude journaling, our mind starts to notice all the little things that we would take for granted and now begin to appreciate.
You can also add photos and maintain a gratitude streak to stay motivated and keep track of your progress.
Here are some of the gratitude journal prompts that you will find on the app:
- Write about a time when you laughed uncontrollably.
- Appreciate a friend who lives far away but is dear to you.
- What is the best gift that you have ever received?
- Write about a movie that touched your heart, and why?
- Write about someone that you really admire.
- Appreciate a refreshing walk that you had in nature.
- What do you like most about yourself?
- What do you love most about the time you are living in?
- Express gratitude for having as much food as you need.
- Appreciate the vehicles that let you travel long distances.
- Express gratitude for the facility of ordering food at your doorstep and the people who deliver it.
- Look around and list 5 things that help you in your day-to-day life?
- List 5 ways that having a mobile phone makes your life easier.
- Express gratitude for 5 things that you use daily.
- Write about an electronic device that you feel grateful to have.
- What is one thing about the Internet that you admire?
- What is something that you can do today that people 30 years ago couldn't?
- Think about the people you don't know who help make your life easier.
- List 5 things in your bedroom that you are grateful for.
- Express gratitude for 5 tools that help you save time.
2. Do a gratitude challenge
On our Gratitude app, challenges are supremely popular. Everyone loves them and we all want more. What's great about challenges is that they give you all you need to start writing.
We guide you with prompts and describe the theme of the day so that you get into the feeling of writing. We also give you pointers and example sentences to give you a sense of what you can write about.
On this World Gratitude Day of 2023, we are launching three brand-new challenges in our app. They are designed to help even the freshest beginners pick up journaling. We have made them fun, easy, and most importantly, quick to do.
These are the three challenges:
- 1-Day Gratitude Challenge
- 3-Day Thrive Challenge
- 7-Day Tiny Things Challenge
We recommend taking them in this sequence so you can watch and celebrate your journey as you complete more and more days. Have fun!
3. Write gratitude letters
Expressing gratitude to people in your life or perhaps even strangers can be a great activity to do for World Gratitude Day.
When we think about it deeply, we come to understand that we never really do anything alone. In each moment, we are supported by the efforts of people and the environmental processes.
All that we are able to do is because of others. Telling these people that we’re grateful for them verbally or through letters makes a profound impact and shares our gift of gratitude with them.
So, here are some of the people you can feel grateful for on World Gratitude Day and all other days:
- The person who makes you laugh hysterically and can lighten up your mood in a matter of minutes.
- Your caregiver who goes out of their way to provide you with what you need and loves you unconditionally.
- The person in your life who has pushed you to do more and go out of your comfort zone.
- The person you can call whenever you're in a sticky situation. They're always there to help you out.
- The person who, with just their presence and pure heart, has made you a better person and work over your faults.
- The most positive person you know. They're always looking for the best in every situation and staying merry even when things are rough.
- Someone you feel most accepted with. You can be your truest self with them, and there are no filters present.
And, here are ideas of what you can say to them. You can read my post on expressing gratitude meaningfully too.
- I appreciate you for always being there, always. I don’t have much to give you except infinite love and gratitude.
- I appreciate you for understanding me and also giving me the advice that I need. I’ve always found your words helpful in times of need.
- I appreciate the way you listen to me.
- I appreciate you for the amazing food you make for us.
- I appreciate you for being who you are.
- I appreciate you for being a great figure to look up to. I feel secure under your guidance. And I know that with you, I will always be safe. I value you the most.
- I appreciate you for taking me out on drives. I am so fond of singing in the car with you and waving my hand out the window.
- Thank you! For having the big heart to listen to my experiences and lessons. I told you things I never told anyone. I'm so grateful that I can trust you.
- Thank you! For so many golden, evergreen memories. Really, becoming your friend is one of the best things that happened to me. I love you!
- Thank you! For understanding me and also giving me the advice that I need. I’ve always found your words helpful in times of need.
4. Take my gratitude course
Whether you are new to gratitude or not there can be times when you feel confused about practicing it and what is the right thing to do.
On World Gratitude Day, why not take a gratitude course?
I launched my Attitude of Gratitude Course this year with the purpose of empowering people so that they can build a life with a foundation of gratitude to support them.
It will help you learn,
- Techniques for feeling deep gratitude
- Finding things to be grateful for
- Tips for gratitude journaling and building its habit
- How to express gratitude to others
- How to feel grateful in difficulties
- With resources like worksheets, wallpapers, stickers, cards, and more.
I have experienced firsthand how amazing gratitude is, and I’ve also talked to people around the world about how gratitude changed their lives.
And, with this course, I want to share all of that with you.
5. Listen to gratitude affirmations
Affirmations are a powerful source of inspiration. Affirmations create a shift in our mindset.
And, depending on the kind of affirmations we use, we can train our brain to use the words we need to hear.
So, for World Gratitude Day, you can dive into gratitude affirmations:
- I am grateful for many things in my life that bring me joy and comfort.
- I trust that what's meant for me is already mine, regardless of how and when it is mine.
- I am worthy of beautiful endings and exciting beginnings.
- I allow my voice to be heard, my thoughts to be expressed and my vision to be seen.
- I am open to things working out for me. I am open to receiving abundance. I am open to connecting with my highest self.
- I am eternally grateful for all of the blessings I have in my life.
- I am happy and grateful for everything I have and receive daily.
- I constantly remind myself to enjoy all the good I have in my life right now.
- I express deep appreciation for the small steps I achieve each day.
- With every breath I take, I am bringing more and more gratitude into my life.
- Today, I will concentrate on taking one step forward, however small.
- My life is meaningful and important; I am a valuable contributor to the greater good.
- I am worthy because I say so. My worth is in my hands.
- I release the amount of pressure I put on myself.
- I give myself permission to trust myself, my guidance, and my intuition.
- All the good in my life comes to me as a result of my willingness to find happiness in each moment.
- Every kind word I express comes back to me multiplied.
- Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good.
- I realize there will be obstacles but I have the strength to get through them.
- I choose to be kind to myself and love myself unconditionally.
- I see problems as challenges that evolve me and make me grow.
- I always treat others the way I expect to be treated.
- Each day even if it’s for a few minutes I’m going to stop and be grateful for all of life’s beauty.
- Every day I’m going to be more mindful of all of the small blessings that I should be thankful for.
- I am thankful that with each experience I become a better version of myself.
- I create the possibility of happiness for others by being happy.
- It does not matter what other people say or do. What matters is how I choose to react and what I choose to believe about myself.
- I return to the basics of life: forgiveness, courage, gratitude, love, and humor.
- I am creating a life that feels good and I am in charge of my happiness.
- Happiness is within me. I base my happiness on my own accomplishments and the blessings I've been given.
6. Join a Gratitude Group
There are quite a few Facebook and WhatsApp groups and subreddits dedicated to gratitude.
In fact, I run a WhatsApp group called 'Grateful People' where we practice gratitude journaling every day and support each other.
On World Gratitude Day, you can try joining some of these groups and be part of a community of gratitude.
If you’d like to join my WhatsApp group, shoot an email over to me at firstname.lastname@example.org 😇
7. Make a Gratitude Tree
A gratitude tree is a symbolic representation of gratitude to which people can physically attach their gratitude notes. The tree serves as a beautiful example of how powerful gratitude can be.
Each gratitude note on the tree represents something that the person is grateful for, such as a good memory, a kind gesture, an achievement, or someone they love.
By adding these notes to the tree, we can visually and tangibly acknowledge and celebrate the blessings in our lives. The feeling we get when we read all the beautiful notes of gratitude is incomparable!
You can learn how to make a gratitude tree in this post.
And, that’s it! These were some of my ideas on how you can celebrate World Gratitude Day.
Regardless of whether you read this post on September 21 or not, remember that the essence of gratitude is being present in this moment.
If we’re grateful for something today, it’s our very own Gratitude Day!
👉 Continue Reading: Gratitude - The One Thing We All Need