How the Gratitude Challenge Came About
Walter Jordan has been concerned about the impact of anxiety on our youth. Due to many recent events that have raised the anxiety levels of many people, Walter wanted to to find a way to help.
The Gratitude Challenge was developed as a way of helping our youth (and their families), focus on the things they have in their lives, that they are grateful for.
Research has proven that practicing gratitude helps reduce anxiety and stress. Since we know that, it just makes sense that we acknowledge the things we are grateful for on a daily basis.
“By consciously practicing gratitude, we can train the brain to attend selectively to positive emotions and thoughts, thus reducing anxiety and feelings of apprehension.”
Source: Chowdhury, M., “The Neuroscience of Gratitude and How it Affects Anxiety & Grief.” PositivePsychology.com, April 7, 2019.
About the Challenge
The goal for each challenge participant is to write down three (3) things they are grateful for each day, for thirty (30) days. Additionally, participants are also asked to write out the highlight of their week.
Walter suggests that when you are feeling sad, anxious, stressed, experiencing grief, etc., go back through your journal and re-read previous entries.
Those that want to really challenge themselves will work to make gratitude a regular part of their lives. One way to do this is by committing to a full year (instead of just 30 days), of daily gratitude entries.
Participants can use any gratitude journal that they like.
Walter Jordan and his wife Rhonda, have developed a series of gratitude journals that are specifically designed for the challenges he conducts.
Links and pictures of the gratitude journals are included below.
One thing that he has found that helps kids and others stay consistent with their gratitude challenge is to do it with others.
The challenge can be done with one other person, a family, sports team or as an organization.
“It’s awesome to see how kids respond to the challenge. Especially how they mention that their mood is uplifted when they go back and reread previous gratitude entries.”
Want to Participate in the Challenge?
Listed below are recommended ways to carry out the gratitude challenge.
As an individual…
Order your gratitude journal and select a day to start. Make a commitment to writing down three (3) things you are grateful for each day.
To remain consistent, commit to writing down your gratitude items at the start of each day or right before bed.
If those times are not an option, put a reminder in your calendar and commit to writing in your journal.
Make a commitment to yourself to complete the full 30 day challenge.
As a team…
Follow the instructions for the individual (see above). Agree that teammates will hold each other accountable for writing down their daily entries and completing the challenge.
You can also incorporate a time for players to share an entry or two from their journals or the highlight of their week.
As a family…
Follow the instructions set out for an individual. Set a time for the family to review highlights for the week.
Reviewing journal entries with the family can be done during dinner, during the ride to school or practice for a sport, after church, etc.
The most important thing is just to take time to talk through some of the items that each family member was grateful for.
As a family, shoot for a full year for the challenge instead of just 30 days.
As an organization…
Follow the instructions for the individual (see above). Agree on the duration of the gratitude challenge. Pair up members of the organization to act as accountability partners.
Partners should check in with each other weekly and hold each other accountable for writing out their daily entries and completing the challenge.
Book Walter to Kick Off Your Gratitude Challenge
Gratitude Journals for Your Challenge
Listed below are books that you can order to use in the gratitude challenge. Click on the picture of the journals listed below for more information or to purchase from Amazon.
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