This time of year, we like to take the time to say thanks. Practicing gratitude can enhance your overall happiness and well-being while also keeping you present in the day. It's easy to start to notice and identify the things you are grateful for in your everyday life. Tune in to the small details of your life and notice the good things (a wonderful loved one, a delicious meal, etc) that you might sometimes take for granted.
Here are a few tips to sharing gratitude at any age
Start a Gratitude Journal
Each day, think of 3 things you are grateful for. Nature. People. Community. Shelter. Creature comforts like a warm bed or a good meal. It's amazing what you notice when you focus on feeling grateful. Making a commitment to writing down good things each day makes it more likely that we will notice good things as they happen.
Gratitude before meals
It's a simple habit that helps us appreciate and share the good things that are happening in our lives, and actively listen to those around us. Once you're aware of the good things in your everyday life, the next step is to savor them.
Savor the Feeling of Gratitude
There are moments when you feel filled with gratitude. These are moments when you say to yourself, "Oh, wow, this is amazing!" or "How great is this!"
Pause. Notice and absorb that feeling of true, genuine gratitude. Let it sink in. Soak it up. Save the memory in the moments they happen.
Make a Gratitude Jar
This next step is critical if you want your new gratitude habit to stick. You have to make it intentional. Display your Gratitude Jar on the dining room table, coffee table or in the front of the classroom. Next to the jar put all the slips of paper and a few pens.
At the end of the month, gather up the strips of pretty paper, and read through them with your family or class– remembering that we all had much to be grateful for. Then, seal them in an envelope, label it with the month and year.
Express Your Gratitude
Expressing gratitude is more than courtesy, manners, or being polite. It's about showing your heartfelt appreciation. When you thank someone, you're also practicing the first two gratitude skills: you've noticed something good, and you've genuinely appreciated it.
Try telling the people in your life how you feel, what they mean to you. It's all about feeling good and creating a cycle of goodness.
"It was really kind of you to…,"
"It really helped me out when you…,"
"You did me a big favor when…,"
"Thank you for listening when…,"
"I really appreciated it when you taught me…,"
"Thank you for being there when…."
Do you practice gratitude at home or in the classroom? Share your experience in the comments below!