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World Gratitude Day: Power of ‘Thank You’


In 1965, renowned spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy suggested a day when the entire world could unite in an expression of gratitude, believing that being thankful and reciprocating kindness “can transform our lives sooner than anything else.”

The first official World Gratitude Day was organized by the United Nations Meditation Group in New York City on September 21, 1977. Since then, people everywhere use this special day to reflect on their blessings and find ways to express their gratitude to those around them—family and friends, as well as strangers.


There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, is a leading scientific expert on gratitude. In his research, Dr. Emmons studies the process of reflecting on things for which one is grateful as a practice that can lead to positive well-being. “Taking stock” of people and circumstances for which we are grateful can be an effective tool for coping with stress and loss. Identifying and expressing feelings of gratitude—as a private exercise, such as journaling, or outwardly with others—is proven to enhance one’s mood, improve self-esteem and reduce feelings of envy and regret.

Last year for World Gratitude Day, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, EDENS installed Gratitude Outposts in several different places across our portfolio with a direct call to action: “Take a card and write a note of gratitude, address it and drop in the slot. We will do the rest!” Colorful postcards are provided at each outpost, as well as a handy mailbox.

Scientific research proves that acknowledging gratitude helps to spark a more positive outlook and encourages a healthier lifestyle. There is endless potential to find happiness in bursts of gratitude, and we hope these boxes are inspiring joy, connection and well-being for our community members.

Jodie McLean CEO, EDENS

People appreciate the means for expression when physical connection isn’t possible. The mere presence of EDENS’ Gratitude Outposts provides inspiration and sparks conversation, like this article about Casa Linda Plaza. More than 35,000 cards have been distributed in one year, and we will continue to replenish indefinitely.

Gratitude is associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Take a card and write a note of gratitude, address it and drop in the slot. We will do the rest! Don’t have their address? Call them. No time to dial? Snap a photo and text to them.

Start sharing your gratitude; it will do your heart and their heart well.

What are you grateful for?

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