Gratitude is about celebrating the good in our lives. It is paying attention to the things we have right now and not spending time worrying about what we do not have. This is something that can take little time, effort or money but will have huge benefits to not only yourself but those around you. If we take the time to celebrate the things in our life that we love (no matter how small), we start to rewire our brains to see the positives in everything we do. Doing this daily allows us to notice the amazing gifts around us and even start to scan the world looking for these positives. Practising gratitude every day can increase our levels of energy, helps us to feel happier and more focussed, determined and optimistic.
Here are some practical activities for you to try yourself and with your child:
- Say thank you to people when they give you a gift or do something nice for you
- Before going to bed, tell someone in your house about your favourite part of your day and why. Then ask them to do the same.
- Write down or talk about three things that went well for you today. It could be something as simple as catching up with friends or as big as winning an award. Try to do this every day at the dinner table with your family or try keeping a notebook or journal next to your bed.
- Draw someone about something that made you feel good today
- Write a handwritten letter to someone you are grateful for, and hand deliver it to them
- Make a gratitude jar. Write a note on a piece of paper and toss it into the jar. On New Year’s Eve, open up the notes and remind yourself of all the wonderful moments you were grateful for through the year.
Gratitude – Black Dog Institute