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The Gratitude Challenge: Can You Express Thanks For 10 Days?

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GRATITUDE
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I have a confession to make (and it's not one I willingly like to admit): I am flawed when it comes to verbalizing what I'm thankful for. Just as I've done with any form of exercise or being better about calling my grandparents, I've been neglecting it on a regular basis. And it's time to change that.

Studies show that taking note of what you're thankful for will increase your happiness levels immensely. By making a ritual of logging thankful thoughts, you're forcing yourself to solely concentrate on the positive aspects of your life. This activity is aimed to be uplifting and it takes less time than watching one episode of Friends.

So why aren't we doing it more often?

One explanation could be that we automatically default to the negative. According to Rick Hanson, neuropsychologist and author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science Of Contentment, Calm and Confidence, our brains have a natural negativity bias and we have to train them to focus on the good.

Hanson's theory makes sense. As a writer, it's my instinct to pluck the most fascinating, dramatic parts of my day because they're the most intriguing. This, unfortunately, means that I'm often lamenting about the bad things that are weighing heavily on my heart and my mind.

It isn't exactly becoming for the GPS for the Soul editor to have more gripes than gratitude, but hey, I'm only human. And as humans, we have remarkable abilities to make positive changes. So I am here to take a stand: I, Lindsay Holmes, will start to be more thankful for the good things -- and I'll do so by keeping a journal of them. It's time to be more #blessed than #stressed (it's also time to stop using hashtags in everyday conversations, but one feat at a time).

So, here's my challenge: For the next 10 days, I invite you to write down three things you're grateful for every day.

It can be as detailed as the meaningful conversation you had with a co-worker or as simplistic as the beautiful sunrise that occurred that morning. The point is, make time to notice the happier parts of your day -- and log them somewhere. It could be in any form: In a journal, on your Twitter or Instagram, in sky writing -- whatever you want.

I'll be doing the same (and blogging about my progress along the way). Share your progress and thankful thoughts with us on social media using the hashtag #IAmGrateful. Cheers to coming out on the other side as a happier, more positive person.

 
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