The Gratitude Challenge–Part 1

Giving thanks isn’t just a nice idea. It's actually good for your health!

Posted in , Nov 6, 2015

The Gratitude Challenge–Part 1

It’s hard to believe it’s already November. That means Thanksgiving will be here before you can say, “Pass the baklava!” (That’s what my family says on Turkey Day!)

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To get ready for the big day of thanks, I decided to challenge myself. You see, I’ve been reading this book called The Heart Speaks: A Cardiologist Reveals the Secret Language of Healing by Dr. Mimi Guarneri. In it, Dr. Guarneri points out the many benefits of gratitude. Giving thanks isn’t just a nice idea. It actually aids your health and immune system, and can even minimize the risk of heart disease!

According Dr. Guarneri, “Writing the sentence I am grateful for… then recording your response in as much detail as possible can provide a sense of comfort and well-being as well as fostering positive thought and therefore health.”

Challenge accepted! From now until Thanksgiving, I’m going to write down what I’m grateful for every day–at least 5 things, big and small (and I mean small, like gratitude for the olives in my salad!).

I’ll track my “thanks” in each of my November blogs and report my findings at the end of the month. Will the exercise result in better health? Will miracles and wonder abound? Let’s see what the power of gratitude can really do!

I hope you’ll join me in the Gratitude Challenge by posting your thanks in the comments below.

Day 1: Gratitude Challenge

Today, I am grateful for…

1)  70-degree weather…in November!
This week has been mild and lovely in New York. Just when I thought puffy winter coat season was back, God surprised me with sandal weather.

2)  The kind baristas at Starbucks.
Okay, I know it’s their job to be nice…but they sure do it well! It’s so nice to start the day with coffee and smiles.

3)  My friend, Swati.
This past Monday, my friend and former co-worker, Swati, came to visit me for lunch. We hadn’t seen each other in about a year! And yet we chatted away like no time had been lost. I’m thankful for these kinds of friends–the ones you can be yourself with, even if you haven’t seen each other in ages.

4)  St. Peter’s, the church down the street from work.
I thank my lucky stars for this church so close to the office–a true oasis in the midst of the city. How refreshing to get away, clear your head and just sit in silence with God.

5)  My oddball family.
I recently started using a pedometer with just one goal–to “out step” my mother, who’s also tracking her steps. I’m thankful for my family, but especially one that engages in silly step competitions!

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