G is for GRATITUDE.
Oxford Dictionary defines gratitude as, “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Studies suggests that practicing gratitude has benefits that improve our health such as reducing blood pressure, sleeping better and reducing inflammation. Studies also suggest that it improves our mental health including reducing stress, building stronger relationships and having an overall happier/positive attitude.
Similar to training for a sport, you must practice gratitude to reap the benefits and to strengthen your “gratitude muscle.” Donovan Taylor Hall explained that gratitude practice can seem awkward at the beginning and make people uncomfortable. He explains that overtime, people are not only able to give gratitude statements but also are able to accept it more easily.
It is important to shine a light on what and who we are grateful for. We can all get caught up in tough days and find things to complain about. Often times when we stop to take a moment, think about what we are grateful for, it helps us reset our outlook and continue moving forward. Gratitude practice might include making a list, journaling, writing a letter, sharing gratitude statements verbally, praying or meditating. This article at mindful.org shares excellent strategies on how to practice gratitude.
We can help children practice gratitude by carving out a few moments each day to share what we are grateful for. Be sure as the adult, you model this by sharing what or who you are grateful for. Here is a list of picture books to support students as they learn about gratitude. Click here!
Do you have a gratitude attitude? What are you grateful for?
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