Gratitude in the Classroom and Out!
That speaks to the power of gratitude and can begin with a simple thank you! Yes, it's the season of giving thanks and follows the example set almost 400 years ago by the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims. So it fits in with our traditions to reflect and give thanks this time of year. The simplicity and the power of gratitude, however, have the potential to change our lives when we see our world with a grateful heart.
Such power and simplicity inspired us to discover more about gratitude and we had to share our findings with you! Check it out and see if you're a convert!
Coffee lover spins curiosity and gratitude into an intriguing journey!!
Feeling thankful for your morning cup of coffee? We've been there! A.J. Jacobs puts his feelings into actions as he tries to thank everyone involved in making his morning cup of coffee. His thank you’s begin with his local barista, travel through the entire supply chain, ending up in Columbia at the beginnings. Jacob learns to be more grateful as his research shows that the comfort he takes in his morning joe comes at the expense of others. His book "Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey", looks like it'll be a fascinating read! We've got the second hold on a copy at our local library! Check it out!
Gratitude: The Wonder Drug
Leading researchers in the science of gratitude have uncovered inspiring findings! Studies show that people who practice gratitude not only feel more optimistic, they have stronger relationships and fewer symptoms of illness. They also tend to be more generous which in turn extends good feelings and feelings of gratitude to others. Studies have found that practicing gratitude has so many benefits! Expressing gratitude regularly can:
make us happier
improve our mental health, self-esteem, and help treat depression
make people like us
improve our friendships and romantic relationships
make us more optimistic
make us more giving
improve our patience
make us better decision makers
help us find meaning in our work
improve our work-related mental health and reduce stress
help us exercise more regularly
reduce blood pressure
Just to name a few...
When "Cheer up!" is too simplistic:
Some students live with high levels of stress and feeling gratitude may seem too big a leap to make. By listening to them and acknowledging their feelings, teachers can help their students better understand their feelings and strengthen their ability to understand others. When students begin to see that people around them support and believe in them, they can become stronger and more resilient.
Keep things simple!
Gratitude can be simple. Nothing complicated to it. Here are a few easy ways to add more gratitude into your students' lives and your own:
Give the Sheep a Rest
End your day with gratitude! Fall asleep restfully thinking of your own ABCs of gratitude. A is for always... B is for being... Zzzzz!
Build Gratitude into Your Daily School Routines
Bring the ABCs back into the hallways at school. During the walk from your class to the art room, have your students silently think of their own ABCs of gratitude. It's a simple way to infuse a bit of gratitude into simple everyday tasks. If your class arrives early, students can share a gratitude as the class works its way from a to z.
Mindful Thoughts Journals
Our Mindful Thoughts Journals are filled with daily mindfulness activities for students to help them develop a growth mindset. Each monthly journal focuses on a different character education concept and reflection to build social emotional-learning skills. Each day students are asked to express a daily gratitude, track their mood, write a book they've read, and respond to a daily writing and doodle prompt. We created these journals to help students become more mindful of their thoughts and actions and how they can impact others. We hope that this journal will help your students as much as it has helped ours!
Be open to seeing the sources of good in our lives! There are so many when we really start looking. Try practicing gratitude daily in your life and in your classroom and see how changes your life and the lives of your students! Let us know how it goes! Leave us a comment below. We'd love to hear about it!