Happy International Thank You Day!

To celebrate, we’re asking: “what’s in a thank-you?”

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed in our age of information overload. But what if a cure was already inside you?

Scientists are now confirming that a our basic capacity for gratitude, long championed by philosophers and religious healers, has the power to keep us sane in these stressful times. As this HuffPost Article demonstrates, simple gratitude practices can improve physical and emotional wellbeing, energy, and optimisim.

To celebrate International Thank You Day, try one of these simple Gratitude Practices, and unlock the power of gratitude in your life!

1. Gratitude Journal

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Get out that journal, or a piece of loose-leaf paper, and make a quick list of things you’re grateful for. It could be friendships, family, food, or something as simple as a smile from a stranger.

Then, choose one or two to write about further. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes, and really let yourself explore all the associated feelings and memories.

Make it a daily practice for a week. Afterwards,  take note of how you feel.

Using a Gratitude Journal has two major benefits:

  1. Rewiring the brain to experience gratitude more powerfully in-the-moment
  2. Creating a record you can go back to when you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or out of touch.

2. Gratitude Meditation (no prior experience needed!)

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

Don’t let the word “meditation” scare you off. It’s real simple, and has huge benefits. Try this process from the HuffPost article linked above:

  • Get into a comfortable seated position.
  • Relax with eyes closed and feel grounded seated in your chair.
  • Take a few abdominal breaths, relaxing the mind and body.
  • When relaxed we are most open to suggestions.
  • Think about “What am I really grateful for?”
  • Take whatever comes to mind first and build on that thought.
  • Expand upon the story of this positive experience or memory.
  • Savor this experience and allow it to sink into the recesses of mind and body.
  • Intensify this feeling even further by vividly visualizing this memory.
  • Keep that experience in mind longer than usual to deeply embed positivity into the brain.
  • Continue building a repertoire of positive experiences.

3. Write a Thank-You Letter

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

That’s right: time to go old-school. Tapping into memory requires us to slow down, and writing by hand opens up space to really recall and savor the feeling of connectedness to another person. It’s easy to forget how others have shaped our lives, and a thank-you letter is a great way to remind you — and your friend — how much you mean to each other.

Here at World Endeavors, we’re grateful for our incredible In-Country Coordinators, our inspiring Participants, and the joyful community of International Education.

Posted by World Endeavors on    January 11, 2018

Put yourself out there! TM

World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.