With the start of school and many of our lives changing as pandemic restrictions vary, we often become overwhelmed and stressed out. Feelings of anxiety and even depression are normal during transitional periods; therefore, it is essential to be mindful and take care of ourselves. One great way to combat stress and negative thinking patterns is gratitude. In this post, you will learn about the importance of gratitude and have access to a free printable journaling activity that is great for practicing gratitude for all ages.
What is Gratitude?
Gratitude is taking a moment to see what we have in our lives that is good and express how thankful we are to have those things.
Expressing gratitude makes us feel happy and thankful because we can recognize all of the great things we have in our lives. Making a habit of expressing gratitude is good for us because we feel positive emotions while reflecting. The more positive emotions we feel, the better!
There are many words that people use when they are expressing gratitude, such as: “I feel lucky because...!”, “I feel thankful that...!”, “I am fortunate that...!”
Examples of gratitude
- Susy takes a moment to tell her mother how thankful she is to have a mother that does everything for her, from driving her and her friends to soccer practice to cutting the crusts off of her sandwiches that she packs for Susy’s lunch every day.
- While on a hike with his family, Eric says how grateful he feels to have a beautiful forest that he and his family enjoy walking through because it brings them all together and allows them to have a lot of family time.
- Anna looks at herself in the mirror and thinks about what three things for which she is thankful. She feels that she is a good friend, a good listener, and a team player. Thinking about some of her positive characteristics makes Anna feel confident.
- Ronda’s family goes around the table and lists two things they are each thankful for at Thanksgiving. Ronda’s grandma says she is grateful for being in good health and having a good relationship with her family.
How can we express gratitude daily?
Most of the time, we feel gratitude after something good happens. As we said before, expressing gratitude makes us feel good! By expressing gratitude every day, we can create those good feelings all the time! Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to remind yourself to express gratitude—and recall moments for which we are grateful.
Journaling can be an easy and effective way to maintain an "attitude of gratitude."
Every morning take 10 minutes to write:
- Three things you are looking forward to (today, this week, this month, this year, or anytime).
- One thing you are going to get done today.
- Three things for which you are grateful.