Practicing Gratitude

Hope and Optimism are key facets of the Resilient Living Program. One effective strategy for challenging pessimistic thoughts and promoting a daily mindset to practice these facets is by implementing a gratitude practice. 

A gratitude practice is a great way to start re-wiring your brain to be more positive.

  • Gratitude/Gratitude Practice is the act of being thankful and the desire to seek out and acknowledge the good things in your life.
  • It can include activities and prompts that remind you to be thankful, even when you are going through a challenging time.
  • Gratitude is focused on both noticing and showing appreciation for life’s gifts.
  • Gratitude is a skill. It takes practice and intention.
  • Once you make gratitude a part of your daily routine, you will notice a positive shift in your self-talk and your interactions with others.

15 Ways to Implement a Gratitude Practice as an Individual or a Family

  1. Download an app for your mobile phone- Apps can send prompts through a tool that is already part of our every day life (An example of an app is pictured right)
  2. Talk to plants and pets: A large part of gratitude is the communicative nature of it (how you speak or how you write.) If it's hard for you to express your gratitude to the people around you, practice on a plant or pet by identifying their contributions to your life.
  3. Start your own "Thirty Days of Gratitude" exercise to dedicate one month to practicing gratitude every day
  4. Keep a gratitude journal
  5. Share your rose, thorn and bud of the day
  6. Get a gratitude partner who you can share reflections with via text, phone, email or in person
  7. Spend time in nature focusing on your senses and how they allow you to enjoy the environment around you
  8. Create a gratitude jar for yourself or gift a gratitude jar to a child in your life
  9. Write a note or letter to someone who has supported you
  10. Tell someone you appreciate them to their face
  11. Express gratitude at mealtimes
  12. Create your own gratitude stones
  13. Practice good manners, including please and thank you
  14. Do family projects to help someone less fortunate
  15. Pray: With Prayer, it does not matter which faith you practice or whether you have a religion or not. Prayer is about communicating with something greater than yourself which naturally grows our abilities for humility and gratitude. It helps us recognize that there is a greater system which we are all a part and that living each day within that system is something to be grateful for.

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