There’s tons of positive psychology research to support a connection between gratitude and wellness. 

Gratitude can help you feel more positive emotions, appreciate positive experiences more fully, and have stronger, healthier relationships. So, it’s easy to see why gratitude is an awesome thing to practice everyday!

But, don’t just take our word for it. Here are five historical figures, dating all the way back to the classical era, who appreciated the value of gratitude.

Dalai Lama

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” 

Dalai Lama is a title given by the Tibetan people to the spiritual leader of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama has always been a symbol of unification of the state of Tibet, as well as Buddhist values and traditions. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, who lives in India as a refugee.

Albert Einstein

“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 was a German-born theoretical physicist and is acknowledged by many as the greatest physicist of all time. He’s known for developing the theory of relativity, as well as his contribution to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics.

Tecumseh

“When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.”

Tecumseh was a Shawnee warrior chief and persuasive orator. During the colonial era, Tecumseh succeeded in organizing a Native American confederacy, achieving an unprecedented level of inter-tribal unity.

Charlotte Brontë

“For my part, I am almost contented just now, and very thankful. Gratitude is a divine emotion: it fills the heart, but not to bursting; it warms it, but not to fever.”

Charlotte Brontë was a 19th Century English novelist and poet. Her novel Jane Eyre is one of the most recognized classics of English literature.

G.K. Chesterton

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an English writer, philosopher, lay theologian, and critic at the turn of the twentieth century. Near the end of his life, Chesterton was invested as Knight Commander with Star of the Papal Order of St. Gregory the Great (KC*SG) by Pope Pius XI.

Rabbi Harold Kushner

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.”

Harold Kushner is a prominent American rabbi and popular author. He is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism. He has written 14 books, including multiple bestsellers.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Protestant pastor and theologian who actively resisted the racist actions of the Nazi regime during the World War II era. In addition to his legacy of anti-Nazi dissent, Bonhoeffer’s theological writings became widely influential.

Cicero

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

Cicero, in full Marcus Tullius Cicero (born 106 bce, died 43 bce) was an influential Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and writer during the age of the final civil wars that destroyed the Roman Republic.

Who else?

These are just five examples of historical figures who recognized the importance of gratitude. There’s plenty more! If you’d like to see more quotes about gratitude from influential people through the years, check out this article

It’s easy to get caught up in all the stresses of everyday life—and forget how good we have it sometimes. 

If you’d like to start making more time for gratitude, follow these simple steps.

1. Find gratitude in hard times

Reflecting on negative or difficult situations in your life can actually help you nail down what you’re really grateful for. 

Dig a little deeper into some of these experiences and consider what virtues or strengths they’ve helped you develop or the relationships that have carried you through them. 

Perhaps your job is demanding a lot of you lately. What is there to be grateful for in this situation? Do you have good time management skills? If so, that’s something to be grateful for! Imagine how much more stressful things would be if you didn’t! 

This is just one example of how there’s always something or someone to be grateful for, even in hard times.

2. Start a gratitude journal

Gratitude journals are a tried and true method for practicing gratitude. 

A journal of the things you’re grateful for allows you to keep track of the positives in your life and serves as something you can always refer back to on days when it’s a little tougher than others to feel grateful.


And a gratitude journal can be as time-intensive or laid-back as you want! You can journal everyday or you can set aside a time once a week. 

Still too much of a commitment? Even journaling once a month can be an impactful step on your gratitude journey.

3. Volunteer

For many people, giving back to others in their local community is the key to gratitude, as volunteering can highlight and make you more grateful for the things that you may take for granted.

Plus, people who volunteered in the past year are reportedly more satisfied with their lives compared to people who didn’t volunteer. Additionally, researchers have found that people who volunteer at least once a month report better mental health than those who volunteer infrequently or not at all.

4. Say thank you

Expressing your gratitude for the people you care about can boost their happiness and yours!

SoulPancake ran an experiment encouraging people to write a letter to someone they’re grateful for. People who did so experienced increased levels of happiness up to 4%. 

When the same people then made a phone call expressing their gratitude directly, their happiness levels jumped even further: from 4% to 19%.

5. Prayer or meditation

People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude. The Pray.com app is an awesome resource for people looking to make daily prayer a priority. 

Not your cup of tea? Try mindfulness meditation. For this sort of meditation, people will usually focus on a grounding word or phrase (such as “gratitude”), but it is also possible to focus on a particular aspect of your life that you’re grateful for (such as “family”). 

The Calm app and the Headspace app are full of guided meditations for those needing a little help with the practice.

Let’s get started.

Be patient with yourself as you start your gratitude journey! Studies show that practicing gratitude makes its most positive impact when done consistently over time.

In other words, just a week of practicing gratitude might not make you feel any different. But, don’t let that deter you! Over time, gratitude is sure to help you feel happier and more satisfied with life. 

Good luck!

Let’s stand together and demand an end to this exploitation.

There are companies out there that boast holding over 3,000 data points on people like you.

Data points like:

  • Home address
  • Date of birth
  • Marital status
  • Sexual status
  • Political-party affiliation
  • Bankruptcy status
  • Purchasing history
  • Browsing history
  • Personal interests
  • Places you have visited

This data is harvested by online data brokers and often sold to anyone who wants to pay for it.

Using this data, political and corporate organizations act as puppet masters to target people’s interests and vulnerabilities through personalized online ads to influence how you vote, where you shop, and what you buy. 

Example

The Democratic Party buys personal data on potential voters like you to influence how you vote.

In the 2020 elections, they paid data broker Grassroots Analytics more than $2.1 million to more effectively profile potential voters and help ensure their campaign ads would be more likely to influence your decision-making.

The Campaign

We feel strongly that systematically manipulating people based on their vulnerabilities or biases is wrong, and that our elected government officials should not be using these tools to keep themselves in power, nor should our corporations be using them to manipulate people into making purchases.

For Halcyon’s new campaign, we will be circulating a petition demanding stronger laws to protect our right to privacy and safeguard our democracy.

Let’s stand together and demand an end to this exploitation. 

Let’s stand together and demand an end to this exploitation.

Social media consuming too much of your time and/or zapping your energy? 

Here’s five ways to get your social media use under control, so that it doesn’t end up controlling you.

1. Get your social apps off the home screen

If the Instagram app is the first app you see when you open your phone, then it’s probably going to be the first app you open. 

Rather than having all your social media apps front and center on the home screen, put them somewhere else. On iPhone and Android, you can bundle apps together into folders so they’re not individually visible. Even making an organizational change as small as this could help you reduce your scrolling time!

Or, you can take the apps off your phone entirely. When you delete an app like Facebook or Instagram off your phone, it won’t delete your actual account. So, you’ll still be able to log in to your profiles on the computer. 

Having to sit down at a computer to look at social media prevents you from having the option to use social media in every spare moment of your day.

2. Turn off notifications

You can turn off notifications for specific apps in the settings of your phone. Doing this prevents constant notifications from your social media apps tempting you to open them! 

Not sure how? Here’s your how-to for iPhone and Android

3. Use apps to help you limit your time on social media

Using one app to make sure you’re not spending too much time on another app is definitely ironic, but that’s the world we live in! There are many apps out there designed to help users limit their social media use. Here’s a couple good ones.

If you’re an Instagram user, Instagram itself can actually help you limit your time on the app.

Forest lets you decide the amount of time (say, 30 minutes) that you want to be off your phone. During that time, a digital plant—hence the app’s name—will grow in the app. But if you use your phone before time’s up, your plant will die!

Another popular app for limiting social media use is Daywise. This app lets you schedule when you want to receive notifications and when you don’t. 

If you’re an Instagram user, Instagram itself can actually help you limit your time on the app. Go to “Your activity” in account settings and there you can see how much time you spend daily using the app. Below this you’ll see “Set Daily Reminder” where you can put in how much time you want to give yourself on the app each day, and Instagram will send you a daily reminder once you’ve reached your time limit.

iPhone has a similar function. Go to the “Screen Time” feature under “Settings” for daily and weekly reports on your screen time, as well as the option to set time limits on your phone use. 

Or, if you have Android, you can manage how you spend time on your phone with Digital Wellbeing. Click here for a step-by-step guide!

4. Dedicate time to a screen-free hobby

Pick a screen-free hobby and dedicate a certain amount of time to it each week. Find a yoga class, join a book club, start a garden: anything that doesn’t involve a screen. 

Finding more things you enjoy off-screen will make spending hours and hours glued to your screen and scrolling social media less appealing. 

5. Don’t sleep with your phone

Instead of scrolling through social media last thing before bed, turn your phone off and leave it to charge. And put it somewhere that isn’t right next to you. 

Not only will this keep you from needlessly delaying your own bed time, but it will improve the quality of your sleep, as studies show that the blue light from our phone screens is disruptive to healthy sleeping patterns.

Baby steps! 

Don’t expect yourself to jump from spending two hours a day on social media to 10 minutes in one fell swoop. 

Start by limiting your time by ten minutes a day, then check your progress in a week and go from there. 

You got this!

President Biden and the Pope can’t seem to agree on abortion. While Biden is vocal about his pro-choice beliefs, the Pope has likened getting an abortion to “hiring a hitman”.

When two of the world’s most powerful leaders can’t see eye to eye on an issue, it’s guaranteed to influence the public as well.

President Biden and the Pope can’t seem to agree on abortion.

Halcyon has launched a campaign trying to find out who the public stands with: President Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and the pro-choice camp? Or, Pope Francis, the Catholic Church, and those who stand up for the human right to life?

Sign the petition and let your voice be heard.

The Campaign

For this campaign, we circulated a petition to find out who stands with the Pope on the issue of abortion.

Halcyon set up a landing page explaining the opposing views between President Biden, who is pro-choice, and the Pope, who is pro-life.

Using social media, we drove users to a landing page where we break down the views of Biden and the Pope on the issue of abortion.

We then invited users to sign a petition in support of the Pope and his pro-life views.

The campaign was focused on the United States, however, as you’ll see, we had an interesting outlier group also participating.

The Results

62% of people who accessed the landing page opted to sign the petition.

29% of the people who signed the petition also left a comment. This means about 1 in 3 people decided to leave a comment when signing the petition.

In addition, of those that signed the petition, a whopping 86% also signed up for our email newsletter.

The campaign results told an interesting story about the public’s opinion on abortion.

Location:

As mentioned above, the campaign was circulated in the United States, however we were surprised to see a city from Sweden breaking into the top 10 locations.

  • The top 9 locations who participated in the petition were from American states, with New York showing the most engagement
  • A city in Sweden, Luleå, also showed up in the top 10

Demographics:

64.7% of users who signed the petition were females.

Age also played a role in the petition:

  • 50.9% of users were older than 65
  • 23.3% of users were aged 55-645
  • 11.5% of users were aged 45-54
  • 7.1% of users were aged 35-44
  • The remaining 7.2% were younger than 34

In the end the lowest cost of a petition signup only cost us $1.28.

64.7% of users who signed the petition were females.

Age also played a role in the petition:

  • 50.9% of users were older than 65
  • 23.3% of users were aged 55-645
  • 11.5% of users were aged 45-54
  • 7.1% of users were aged 35-44
  • The remaining 7.2% were younger than 34

In the end the lowest cost of a petition signup only cost us $1.28.

What you can do

If you want to keep up to date with campaigns as imperative as this one, subscribe to Halcyon’s email list and follow us on social media.

You can also support Halcyon with a donation! When you donate to Halcyon, you help us continue to bring awareness to issues like abortion opposition that are foundational to human flourishing.

Earlier this year, ABC’s “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg said the Holocaust was “not about race” and was simply a conflict between “two white groups of people”.

“The View” has a large audience, averaging nearly two million viewers per broadcast, and so Goldberg’s on-air comments immediately sparked intense backlash from not just the Jewish community, but peoples around the world.

The Holocaust was “not about race” and was simply a conflict between “two white groups of people”

Goldberg issued a public apology and was placed on a two-week suspension following the backlash.

Halcyon believes networks like ABC should be held responsible for ensuring their hosts are properly informed on historical events before going on-air, so that harmful historical inaccuracy like Goldberg’s view of the Holocaust isn’t aired in the future.

Halcyon launched a campaign that networks be obliged to adequately brief their on-air personalities on historical events before letting them speak on those events.

Sign the petition and let your voice be heard.

The Campaign

For this campaign, Halcyon created a petition for social media users to sign if they agree that on-air personalities should be adequately briefed before speaking on historical events.

The strategy:

  1. Landing page: Halcyon created a landing page asking users to sign a petition if they agree on-air personalities should be adequately briefed about the topics they intend to speak about.
  2. Social media campaign: a social media campaign was initiated to drive users to the landing page and sign the petition if they agreed with Halcyon’s initiative.

The Results

56% of users who accessed the landing page decided to sign the petition.

Location:

  • The greatest concentration of petition signups came from Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Dallas, and Philadelphia
  • Washington, D.C. brought in the majority of signups, with New York a close second
  • California, despite being the most populous state in America, didn’t even rank within the top 10 locations
  • Texas had 2 cities within the top 10 locations, with Dallas 4th and Houston 8th

Demographics:

The petition also looked at demographics such as gender and age to see who was engaging with the petition the most.

  • 60.6% of petition signups were female while 39.4 were male

Women aged 18-49 make up the majority of the audience for “The View”.

  • 27.7% of signups were from people older than 65
  • 27.2% of signups were from ages 55-64
  • 21.7% of signups were from ages 45-54
  • 12.6% of signups were from ages 35-44
  • 6.5% of signups were from ages 25-34
  • 4.3% of signups were from ages 18-24
  • 60.6% of petition signups were female while 39.4 were male

Women aged 18-49 make up the majority of the audience for “The View”.

  • 27.7% of signups were from people older than 65
  • 27.2% of signups were from ages 55-64
  • 21.7% of signups were from ages 45-54
  • 12.6% of signups were from ages 35-44
  • 6.5% of signups were from ages 25-34
  • 4.3% of signups were from ages 18-24

The lowest cost of getting someone to the landing page was only $0.93, with an average cost of $1.16.

War in Ukraine, refugees fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo, executions in Myanmar, millions of homes in India destroyed by floods, and surging inflation that threatens American job security—this is just a sampling of recent headlines.

We know the world needs change. But, who should lead that change?

Today, humanity faces more existential threats than ever before, leaving many of us scared about the kind of world our children could grow up in. We know the world needs change. But, who should lead that change?

Halcyon was curious, if given the choice, who do people believe is most influential toward ensuring a brighter future for humanity: Elon Musk, President Biden, or Pope Francis? We launched a campaign to find out and break down the surprising campaign results. 

Campaign Strategy

The campaign asked users who they would trust most to ensure a brighter future for humanity between Elon Musk, President Joe Biden, and the Pope. 

The strategy:

  1. Landing page: Halcyon created a landing page asking users to choose between Elon Musk, President Joe Biden, and the Pope.
  2. Social media campaign: a social media campaign was initiated to drive users to Halcyon’s landing page.
  3. Survey: to understand why people chose their candidate, users were asked to answer 10 survey questions based on their vote.

Campaign Results 

After users voted in the poll, we asked them to answer some survey questions about the person they voted for so we might better understand why they made their choice.

Below you will find data that expresses why users chose to vote for the person they did.

Elon Musk 

70.9% strongly agreed that Musk “has the courage to fight corruption and special interest” (beating Joe Biden at 62.4% and Pope Francis at 65.4%).

37.2% of voters strongly agreed that Musk’s “faith life will sustain him on difficult days ahead”, (Biden received 59.7% and the Pope a majority of 77.3%).

72.3% of people who voted for Musk agreed that he is a “better person” than the other two candidates (while only 54.5% went to Biden and 62.7% for the Pope).

63.3% of people strongly agreed that Musk “takes his role seriously” (losing to Biden, who scored 79%, and the Pope who scored 76.8%)

President Biden

Only 10.95% of the votes went to Joe Biden, putting him just a few percentage points above the Pope. 

59.3% of the voters thought that Biden “engaged in the issues” that they were “most passionate about” (higher than Musk’s 48.6% and the Pope’s 53%).

79% voted for Biden and strongly agreed that he “takes his role seriously”. This was the highest percentage of “strongly agree” answers to any of the poll questions across all three candidates. 

In fact, Biden received “strongly agree” responses above 54% for every question, whereas the Pope and Elon Musk both received “strongly agree” responses below 50% on more than one question.

Pope Francis

7.26% of people voted for the Pope, the lowest number of all the candidates.

48.1% of people agreed that Pope Francis “understands the problems in the world and is the best person to address them” (Elon Musk received 56.6% and Joe Biden got 61.4%.)

64.3% of voters strongly agree that the Pope “knows where humanity needs to go” (with Musk at 58.2% and Biden at 55.5%).

68.6% said that the Pope has a “strong sense of conscience” that they can trust (narrowly beating Biden who got 67.9% of these votes, while Musk only received 53.7% of the votes).

With 77.3%, the Pope garnered the most votes for having a “faith life will sustain him on difficult days ahead” (Biden received 59.7% and Musk had the lowest votes at 37.2%).

With 67.6% of votes agreeing that Pope Francis “cares for people and will ensure nobody is left behind”, he again beat out Biden and Musk who received 63.8% and 46.2%, respectively.

Should changing gender be easy?

The Context

If you live in Nevada and want to change your gender, you’re in luck—it’s easy!

Applicants for a Nevada driver’s license are free to select M (male), F (female), or X (nonbinary) on the driver’s license application form, regardless of how their gender is listed on any other legal documents.

So, even if your birth certificate says you’re a male, there’s nothing stopping you from listing female on your Nevada driver’s license.

[…] if you can change legal gender super easily, and as many times as you want, what does that mean for women’s and men’s bathrooms?

And if you change your mind? No problem. You can change your gender on a Nevada driver’s license as many times as you want.

What if you want your birth certificate to reflect your gender identity, too?

For just $40, Nevada Vital Records will issue a new birth certificate with your chosen gender of male, female, or nonbinary (“X”) upon the receipt of two affidavits affirming your gender identity:

Affidavit #1 – from the individual, their parent or guardian, or legal representative, stating the gender that should be on the birth certificate and why.

Affidavit #2 – from anyone who has personal knowledge of the applicant’s gender identity and the gender the applicant intends to maintain.

The Campaign

We can’t help but wonder…should changing your legal gender really be that easy?

Think about it: if you can change legal gender super easily, and as many times as you want, what does that mean for women’s and men’s bathrooms? Or locker rooms at the gym? Or sports?

With other U.S. states considering similar bureaucratic processes for gender change, Halcyon wants to know what YOU think about the question of gender identity.

Our hope is that the results of this survey provide insight into what real people think about gender and help to inform a thoughtful, continued dialogue about gender in the U.S.

Should changing gender be easy?

Here at The Halcyon Movement, we believe humanity already has the recipe for building a moral and virtuous society, but that prolific messaging rooted in harmful ideologies and ignorance often gets in the way.

So, we asked ourselves, how can we combat this harmful messaging? How can we spread a message of truth, morality, and virtue and how can we make this message stand out?

The answer turned out to be simple enough: t-shirts.

Put a message on a t-shirt (or a hat, or a hoodie…) and everyone you meet will encounter that message.

Here at The Halcyon Movement, we believe humanity already has the recipe for building a moral and virtuous society, but that prolific messaging rooted in harmful ideologies and ignorance often gets in the way.

So, we asked ourselves, how can we combat this harmful messaging? How can we spread a message of truth, morality, and virtue and how can we make this message stand out?

The answer turned out to be simple enough: t-shirts.

Put a message on a t-shirt (or a hat, or a hoodie…) and everyone you meet will encounter that message.

Holy Monday was created to witness the righteous anger exemplified by Jesus Christ on Holy Monday.

And so, The Halcyon Movement’s new apparel brand, Holy Monday, was born.

About Holy Monday

Holy Monday was created to witness the righteous anger exemplified by Jesus Christ on Holy Monday, the day on which he courageously cleansed the Temple of corruption:

In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”
– John 2:14-16

As men and women seeking a brighter future for humanity, we must be willing to renounce and expel evil as Christ did on Holy Monday.

Our apparel is designed to embolden you and the people you meet to do so.

About Holy Monday

Holy Monday was created to witness the righteous anger exemplified by Jesus Christ on Holy Monday, the day on which he courageously cleansed the Temple of corruption:

In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”
– John 2:14-16

As men and women seeking a brighter future for humanity, we must be willing to renounce and expel evil as Christ did on Holy Monday.

Our apparel is designed to embolden you and the people you meet to do so.

Shop Holy Monday

If you share The Halcyon Movement’s conviction that we are called to ‘cleanse the temple’ as Jesus did, then be sure to check out Holy Monday at https://holymonday.com/ and follow the brand on social media.

Every purchase from the shop directly supports the continued work of The Halcyon Movement.

Whose leadership do we need most?

Take a look at the latest world news, and the picture is bleak.

War in Ukraine, refugees fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo, executions in Myanmar, millions of homes in India destroyed by floods, and surging inflation that threatens American job security—this is just a sampling of recent headlines.

Who can we trust to have humanity’s best interests at heart?

Today, humanity faces more existential threats than ever before, leading many of us to feel scared about the kind of world our children could grow up in.

The Question(s)

We know the world needs to change if we’re to have any hope of a brighter future for humanity.

But, what should that change look like? And do our world leaders possess the wisdom and courage to get us there?

Who can we trust to have humanity’s best interests at heart?

A captain of industry? A man of faith? A politician?

We can’t answer these questions on our own. That’s why we want to know who you trust most to ensure a brighter future for humanity.

Given the choice, would you choose President Biden, Pope Francis, or Elon Musk to captain humanity’s future?

The Campaign

For Halcyon’s new campaign, we will be circulating a poll as we seek to gather people’s opinions about President Biden, Pope Francis, and Elon Musk to uncover who real people believe would do the best job ensuring a brighter future for humanity.

Using the results from this poll, we plan to send a clear message to leaders everywhere about the kind of leadership real people are looking for.

Let your voice be heard!

Whose leadership do we need most?