Scientific studies show that practicing mindful gratitude is the primary way to consistently increase individual long-term happiness. Often referred to as gratitude, we call it ‘Thankfulness’.
Each and every day we are bombarded by negative news and attitudes that do little more than cultivate the ever growing cultural, social, political and religious barriers.
The aim of Thankful is to empower people and organizations to change their outlooks and increase well-being by recognizing their Thankful Moments. Reflecting on those things that they as individuals, families, friends, organizations and communities have achieved,
The power of being 'Thankful' isn’t just about reflecting on momentous 'world moments'. Rather, it’s about acknowledging, the everyday things:
Joining the Thankful Movement doesn't cost a thing and sharing your Thankful Moments is wonderfully contagious.
And as research proves that by acknowledging the ‘positives’ in our day, we have the potential to boost our mood, improve our sleep, enhance our relationships, increase our immune systems and decrease stress levels.
Remind yourself of the people and the things that you’re Thankful for today and share them at #IAmThankful4
We have all experienced that warm feeling when we realize how Thankful we are for something in our lives. Scientific research is finally showing what we, as humans, have known to be true for thousands of years- it feels good to be Thankful. In fact, our overall wellness is vastly improved by the simple, yet powerful, act of being Thankful. In the process of illuminating how research now supports the essential human quality of being Thankful, it is important to understand 'Thankful’ as a term. A large growing body of psychology and neuroscience research has been conducted on gratitude. In this literature, gratitude is typically defined as "the quality of being Thankful." Both in definitional terms and in scientific literature, thankfulness and gratitude are considered practically synonymous. To be Thankful is to experience a feeling of gratitude, and to be grateful is to experience a feeling of thankfulness. As such, all further mentions of gratitude research inherently describe thankfulness as well.
Why is being Thankful important for our well-being?
Practicing the act of feeling Thankful is a simple, yet vitally impactful tool, which has been shown in both ancient philosophy and scientific research to support our well-being. In fact, recent research has linked gratitude with extensive physical and mental health benefits, both for the individual and for the community.
First, being Thankful improves our own individual health. Studies show that gratitude boosts our mood, improves our sleep, enhances our relationships, and supports our immune system. The regions of the brain associated with moments of gratitude are part of the neural networks that activate when we experience pleasure. Furthermore, these areas in the brain are strongly connected to regions of the brain that process stress and regulate emotions. Therefore, not only does being Thankful enhance our mood, it decreases our stress. Cultivating thankfulness in our lives is immensely impactful for our own well-being and functioning overall.
Second, thankfulness strengthens relationships and communities. Neuroscience indicates that when a person experiences the feeling of being grateful, the networks in the brain associated with understanding others' perspectives, interpersonal touch, and cultivating empathy are activated. This means that experiencing thankfulness enhances human connectivity. Not only does thankfulness improve human connection, it strengthens community. Positive psychology research shows that expressions of gratitude create positive moments for others, which increase the likelihood of that act of thankfulness being paid forward. Thankfulness as a positive human emotion spreads, creating a lasting ripple effect through communities.
How does one become Thankful?
The act of being Thankful is a practice. Neuroscience has shown differences in the brains of those who regularly cultivate the act of gratitude and those who do not. Those who regularly cultivate the act of being Thankful show greater neural sensitivity in the region of the brain associated with decision making and learning, which perpetuates a more intentional cultivation of ongoing thankfulness. Thus, our brains learn to become more naturally Thankful as we intentionally practice. Furthermore, research indicates that the positive effects of thankfulness actually increase over time and practice. Studies show there is a cumulative effect of being Thankful. The more gratitude we bring into our lives, the more wellness benefits we will experience.
Thankful Moments make for impactful change
Gratitude affirms goodness. When we notice what there is to be Thankful for in life, our brains and our bodies respond in a positive way. Taking even a moment to be Thankful shifts our brains, shifts our bodies, and even shifts our entire way of relating to the world. We all have the capacity to be wellness advocates, for ourselves and for others, because we can all experience and spread the benefits of gratitude through the practice and act of being Thankful. An individual’s moment of thankfulness enhances wellness, brings us together, and propels more thankfulness into the world.
Quite simple, thankfulness feels good and does good – and now we have the science to show it!
Ghandi said, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” But what if the world starts shaking you?
Even the most upbeat among us get despondent when life gets complicated. Dr. Britta Larsen DeMartini, a psychologist and assistant professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California San Diego, said anxiety and emotional overwhelm are common complaints these days, and it’s no wonder. When people feel like they’re losing control, they start feeling gloomy.
“Depression creeps up when you feel helpless,” she told Project Thankful. “One of the best ways to ward it off is to do something active. Find some piece of the world you can make a little better. You don’t have to fix everything — just find one thing you can improve. And honestly, I don’t think it’s just a touchy-feely philosophy, I think it’s actually what’s going to make all the difference.”
We asked some Thankful people what they do to stay up when the world gets them down. Some strategize ways to get involved in their communities, others take rejuvenating breaks to focus on self care (naps and chocolate, anyone?). All of them agree, to feel good you need to think good thoughts and, more importantly, do good things.
Mobilize from Your Own Backyard
Theresa, a student and mom of two in Burbank, Calif., was brainstorming ways to stay calm and constructive in a troubling political climate. (There’s only so much you can do between classes and carpools.) She came up with the clever idea to host a postcard party, allowing her to activate other community-oriented folks without even leaving her house.
“We’re thinking of getting the word out on Facebook, Nextdoor, etc., so we can get together with other civic-minded people in our community and write to local, state and federal leaders about the specific concerns we have,” she said. “Just trying to find some way to stay productive.”
Accentuate the Positive
Laura from Bountiful, Utah, is making an effort to keep track of the inspirational things going on around her.
“I’m starting to write down or vocalize to someone one good thing I see happening in our country every day,” she said. “Sometimes it’s something that I’ve done. Sometimes it’s something [someone else has] done. I see more and more people becoming more vocal, more insistent, more agitated for good. I see these things as all positive, against — and maybe even because of — the odds.”
Look for the Helpers
When Adrienne from Seaside, Oregon, dwells on things she can’t control, her optimism gives way to sadness and anger. That’s why she’s taking a page from the Mr. Rogers playbook and looking for the helpers. When it comes to bad news, she says, “I’m fairly certain that…all of the people trying to find ways to make a difference are the positive spin.”
Gratitude is giving Adrienne the strength she needs to ward off despair and focus on creating Thankful Moments for herself, her family and everyone else.
“I’m trying to be thankful to be surrounded by so many loving people, and trying to figure out what on earth I can do to make a difference.”
Make no mistake — these women are optimistic, not complacent. They’re energized. Fired up, ready to go. Being Thankful in trying times doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility to make things better; it gives you the strength to see that in your quest to make the world a better place, you’re not alone.
Everyone has a story to tell…
Discover how sharing your positive Thankful Moments can really begin to change our world.
Our one message at a time campaign has launched, helping to create mindfulness and positivity throughout the world.
#IAmThankful4FIND OUT MORE
Struggling to recover from multiple disasters, Hurricane Maria left 3.5 million residents without electricity and communications. More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their home. This campaign will remind the people of Puerto Rico that the world has not forgotten them, and we are indeed Thankful for Puerto Rico.
#IAmThankful4PuertoRicoCLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
We are facing a range of social, political and environmental challenges that cause fear, mistrust and division. The need for the conversation of inclusion has never been stronger or more relevant and the willingness of communities, countries, and governments to work together to acknowledge the value of individuality and inclusion is for the collective human interest. Working with organizations that focus on developing programs to improve the lives of minority groups, we will fund programs to promote inclusiveness.
If current trends continue and we fail to understand the pace of environmental change, the world's environment will continue to decline. Cultivating environmental gratitude can convert feelings of thankfulness into improved knowledge, to sustain motivation and effect action to protect our planet. Funds generated will help develop educational and on-going sustainable programs.
The world is witnessing the worst refugee crisis in history, with over 65.3 million people forcibly displaced from their homes and country. Over half are children and many will experience generational displacement. This campaign will generate awareness for the crisis that faces humanity today and funds raised will be distributed through the UNHCR, IRC, resettling agencies and local organizations to have a direct and positive impact.
Recognizing the enormous value that women add to our world, this campaign will raise awareness of the discrimination and violence that women and girls face in every part of the world. Funds raised will help to empower women and girls across the globe from educational opportunities, micro-financing to women’s health and welfare.
In conjunction with the music industry and recognizing the extraordinary impact music plays in our lives, this campaign will generate much needed awareness of mental health and wellness. Destigmatizing the conversation of mental health and wellness to generate conversation and raise funds to provide support for the 1 in 4 people who will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. The World Health Organization has identified mental disorders as being among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
Recognizing the value and role that pets play in our lives, this campaign aims to rehome animals and bring attention to the millions of animals euthanized each year. Raising funds for animal welfare and placement.
Shop here for our Thankful products. Every product we sell helps towards creating more Thankful Moments for those less fortunate.
‘One Message at a Time’ has launched. Helping create positivity and mindfulness throughout the world.see our campaign
Just some of the amazing organizations we have teamed up with. If you would like to become a partner, then please, get in touch.
Whatever you need us for,
we’re right here.