Wellness Works Post: Gratitude (December 2021)
Gratitude is not just “good manners” and it plays a significant role in overall wellbeing. Gratitude can be expressed by a simple “thank you” but there are many other ways to nurture and identify gratitude. Gratitude can happen in four ways:
- NOTICE what it is that you are grateful for
- THINK about why you are able to be grateful or why the thing you are grateful for is there
- Identify how you FEEL about the things we are grateful for
- DO express appreciation back “outwards”
Gratitude is not just about receiving, it is also about giving. So what can you do with your child/ren or even yourself?
- Point out the things you are grateful for and remember that modeling for your child/ren is a very powerful technique
- When you are grateful make sure to point out why you feel grateful
- Help your child/ren find gratitude in the things they may take for granted such as something in nature, or a simple meal
- Encourage them to use their own areas of strength to give back and be helpful and cooperative with others
- Notice accomplishments – even the smallest ones are something we can be grateful about
- Have a gratitude wall or space on your fridge where everyone can write something they are grateful for – the whole family, visitors, friends. Seeing what others are grateful about is also quite powerful
- Identify someone your child/ren is grateful to have in their life (e.g., an extended family member, an elder, a peer, a teacher, a principal, a counsellor) and encourage them to let that person know
Taking just a bit of time to identify gratitude can have an impact. We are very grateful to all of the parents, guardians, elders, and caregivers who support our communities’ children and youth.
Jenny Marino, Mental Health Lead and the Wellness Works Committee