Happy Thanksgiving week!
I’m writing this on the week when we traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States. Thanksgiving is a day we set aside to give thanks for the year’s harvest blessings, for the people we love and for the abundance of good in our lives. And it’s always celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.
But gratitude is too important to leave for just one day out of the year!
Let me say I have so very much to be grateful for. My loving marriage to my soul mate of 24 years, and our 3 happy, healthy children: Allie 20, Joel, 16, and Joaquín, 13. My thriving health and wellbeing business, and a connection to helping tens of thousands feel more vibrantly healthy and confident in their body and alive in their life.
To help others remember to not only be grateful but to spread joy in the world one act of kindness at a time, I created a 28-day challenge called Project Lighten Up. I launched it with my mom, Mary Morrissey, and in this challenge we set aside Thursdays as “Thoughtful Thursdays,” to show gratitude to others, usually through small, simple acts of kindness that make you feel great!
Compassion and kindness have also been found to help reduce stress, boost immunity, and reduce negative emotions like anger, anxiety and depression! Acts of kindness have even been linked to reduced blood pressure, through the release of a hormone called oxytocin.
Some of the ways you can create a “Thoughtful Thursday” are simple and quick, like sending an unexpected email or text message to a family member or a co-worker to express appreciation for something they’ve done that was thoughtful. It could include giving someone a gift card for something they’ll enjoy, like their favorite place for coffee.
It could also be showing kindness for a complete stranger, like giving the cashier extra to pay for the person behind you when you’re in line for coffee or tea, or for a stranger at a restaurant who will never know it was you!
I’m super grateful to be celebrating Thanksgiving with my family here in Paris this week. And today I started my acts of kindness by stopping to appreciate a few street performers here in Paris, and making a donation to support them!
Kindness is linked to both happiness and contentment, both psychologically and spiritually. A Japanese study found that happy people were kinder than people who were not happy. They found that their happiness increased just by counting how many acts of kindness they had done! And just by counting those acts of kindness, they became even more kind and grateful.
Through kindness, you enhance your feelings of gratitude. When you are aware that you are kind to others, it heightens the sense of your own abundance. You become more empathetic and compassionate, and more aware of your connection with others.
This week, I encourage you to do an experiment by making each day a Thoughtful Thursday. Do at least one act of kindness each day, small or large, and count them up as you go along. Notice what you’re noticing about how you feel after you do them, and when you count your acts of kindness at the end of the day and at the end of the week!
Be sure to write in the comments section how you’re doing with your Thoughtful Thursday experiment, and your favorite ways to do acts of kindness.
Did you get some new ideas for showing kindness from this blog post, or do you have some ideas for showing kindness and gratitude that you’d love to share?
I’d love to hear from you, and I know that others want to hear as well!