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5-day Gratitude Challenge: 

Science-Based Tips from a Harvard Psych Instructor


by Dr. Natalie Dattilo

Gratitude is being thankful, ready to show appreciation, and return kindness. Research shows that being in a state of gratitude strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and improves sleep.


According to Dr. Natalie Dattilo, in as little as 5 days, we can cultivate gratitude and kickstart its health benefits. With Thanksgiving around the corner, it's the perfect time to start.


Dr. Natalie Dattilo’s 5-day Gratitude Challenge:


  • Day 1: Reflect

Set up your Gratitude Journal and get started with questions like:

  • What does gratitude mean to me?

  • What does gratitude feel like in my body?

  • What memories of gratitude come to mind? 

  • Day 2: Tune In

    • For 5 minutes, sit with your Day 1 reflections, letting them fill your mind and body 

  • Day 3: Cultivate Empathy

    • Think about all the things your body and mind are able to do. Recognize that others are suffering. Appreciate that others would give anything for your problems.

  • Day 4: Relax into the Rhythm

    • Reflect/meditate/journal on the journey itself, noting the ups, downs, twists, and turns. When you relax into the rhythm and flow of life, and the struggle to have things be anything other than what they are subsides. You become simply, sublimely grateful. 

  • Day 5: Shift Your Perspective

    • When you elevate your thinking from wanting to already having, radical change happens. You give and appreciate more and worry less. Identify 5 things, people, or pets already in your life that bring you joy.


Want to level up? 

  • Share your reflections with friends and family

  • Increase reflection moments to 2x/day

  • Try Dr. Dattilo’s 30-day gratitude challenge! The guide includes an opportunity for daily reflection as well as personal insights, with a little science thrown in for good measure.

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