Some days it is easier to feel grateful for what we have. When we perceive that things are going well in various aspects of our life, feelings of appreciation come naturally. During challenging times, such as the one we are in now, it can be more difficult tapping into feelings of gratitude. This is understandable! In fact, gratitude is considered a skill and viewed as something to practice and cultivate. Incorporating gratitude exercises into our daily routine can have many positive benefits for our wellbeing. Children can even start learning this important skill at an early age. Here are a few ideas to help you and your family incorporate gratitude activities into your busy schedule:
1. Gratitude Journal- A journal is a great way for children to express gratitude. This activity can be scaffolded for younger children with parental support (i.e. the child drawing pictures or the parent writing the responses). For older children, including adolescents, they can do a gratitude exercise on their own and write down at least three things they are grateful for daily.
2. Sharing During Meals-Taking just a few minutes in the morning to engage in the practice of gratitude can help anchor your and your child’s day. This can be done at the breakfast table or in the car on the way to school. While mornings are often hectic, taking time to talk together at the dinner table is also a great way to process the day.
3. Writing a Positive Message- Writing a message of gratitude to your children can go a long way. Placing a special note in their lunch box or in their room are some ways to show appreciation. Sharing specific details and expressing appreciation for both large and small tasks can help teach your children that feeling grateful does not just have to be tied to significant events and will help them to further develop this crucial skill.
At Think Happy Live Healthy, we are grateful for the opportunity to work with all of our clients and families. As always, you can reach us at email@example.com or call us at 703-942-9745.