There are many ways we can focus on our wellbeing and one that I think is really important is gratitude. You may or may not notice that each Monday morning I ask the children to think of one thing they are grateful for, it is a simple task but is an intentional focus on expressing gratitude through prayer.

Harvard Medical School has done some research on Gratitude which I thought is important for our own wellbeing and that of our students. The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving memories and being thankful for past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude).

Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier. I encourage you this term to focus on Gratitude personally and with our students. Here are some ways:

  • Write a thank you note
  • Thank someone
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Count your blessings
  • Pray
  • Meditate

How do you show gratitude?