Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash
by Catharine Hannay
Weekly Gratitude Journal
At the end of each day this week, write down a few things that you appreciate. This could be actual things, like your favorite sneakers. Or it could be something that happened, or a place where you felt comfortable, or someone who was nice to you.
You could also try a Five Senses Mindfulness Log to help you tune into the physical world around you.
Mindful Eating Gratitude Practice
Before eating a meal or snack today, think about all of the people who grew, transported, and prepared the food you eat. Think about the sun and soil and seeds. If you’re religious, think about how God provided this food for you to eat.
You could also try a Five Senses Snack to help you really focus on and appreciate what you're about to eat.
In a post about Secular and Spiritual Perspectives on Gratitude, I mentioned that my uncle gave a Thanksgiving blessing based on 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Be grateful in all things.”
The idea was to be grateful in all things, not necessarily for all things. It was quite a moving prayer, as it was such an awful time for our family—both my mother and my uncle himself were seriously ill.
We weren't at all happy about the challenges we were facing, but we did feel tremendously grateful for the outpouring of love and support from our friends, colleagues, and neighbors.
We all face big and small challenges in our lives. It can be a powerful practice to shift our focus to what we've learned from a difficult time or who's helped us get through it.
There's a strong connection between mindfulness and gratitude. Practicing mindfulness can increase our awareness of the beneficial things, people, places, and circumstances in our lives.
It works the other way around, too. Practicing gratitude can help us choose to focus our attention on aspects of our lives we may have taken for granted.
If you found these activities useful, you might also be interested in the following posts:
- More Than Saying Thank You: Activities That Encourage Awe for the Ordinary
- 9 Simple but Powerful Gratitude Practices to Share with Your Students
- 7 Gratitude Practices to Share with Your Students
- Songs About Gratitude, part 1
- Songs About Gratitude, part 2
- Video Playlist: Practicing and Teaching Gratitude
About the Author
Catharine Hannay is the founder of MindfulTeachers.org and the author of Being You: A Girl’s Guide to Mindfulness, a workbook for teen girls on mindfulness, compassion, and self-acceptance. (Sales of the book help me continue to run MindfulTeachers.org with no sponsorship or advertising.)