We benefit when we look for the good in our day. Taking time to reflect on our blessings helps us to notice and appreciate the many opportunities we’ve been given and beauty of the world around us. Research shows that intentionally thinking about what we do have in our lives helps us to have a more optimistic outlook. We tend to feel happier, healthier, and more productive.
Some days, it may not be easy to think of our blessings. Thankfully, like any skill, this can be developed and practiced. The more we do it, the better we get at it. As we view the world and our relationships through a lens of gratitude, we learn to notice the positives in our day. Even when we are facing a challenge, reflecting on our blessings helps us to refocus and see beyond the moment we are in. This can help us better handle our stress and find some enjoyment in our day.
In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we reflect on our blessings.
As a class, group, or family:
· Start a gratitude journal. Choose a time every day or week to write about your blessings, reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for.
· There are many ways to do this. Here are some ideas to help organize thoughts: write a journal entry, follow prompts, answer specific questions, write down three words or three things, draw pictures, find quotes, include images, use a template such as SMHO's Grab and Go Practising Gratitude tool (LINK: https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Grab-and-go-practising-gratitude.pdf) or these Personal Gratitude questions (LINK: https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/2-Gratitude-Strategy.png).
· Gratitude is unique to each of us. There isn't one "right" way to practice gratitude. For some people, we click instantly with an idea. It feels seamless to add a gratitude practice to our day. For others, we may try a few different ways to practice gratitude before it feels authentic. That's OK. Choose something that is best suited to ourselves. Each person can decide what works best for them or even try something new each day.
· Throughout the week, reflect on your blessings. If you keep your journal at home, look at it when you wake up or before you go to sleep. If you keep it at school, use the first few minutes of your day or class to read a few pages. Look at it when you need a boost or a little positive motivation during the day. Share your gratitude (LINK: https://smho-smso.ca/fw/positive-motivation-and-perseverance/expressing-gratitude/giving-thanks/) with someone. Reflecting on our blessings reminds of us of the good things in our lives.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
What is one blessing I have in my life today?
How do I feel God’s presence in my life?
Connecting to our faith:
“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
Christ is alive. His love is with us, guiding us, protecting us. The practice of our Catholic faith is centered on gratitude and giving thanks to God. Reflecting on the blessings we receive from God each day helps us to recognize the Love of God in everything he has given us. When we reflect on our blessings, we feel His presence and love in our lives.
· CHILDREN’S BOOK: “Gratitude is My Superpower” by Alicia Ortego
· BOOK: “The Book of Awesome” by Neil Pasricha · SOCIAL MEDIA BUNDLE: https://smho-smso.ca/blog/online-resources/mental-health-literacy-and-anxiety-management-social-media-bundles/#gratitude-exercises
· EDUCATOR RESOURCE: Gratitude exercises for elementary (https://smho-smso.ca/fw/positive-motivation-and-perseverance/expressing-gratitude/) and secondary (https://smho-smso.ca/fwsecondary/positive-motivation-and-perseverance/expressing-gratitude/)
· CAREGIVER RESOURCE: “Easy and Fun Mental Health Activities for Home” (5th activity) https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/EDMH-ParentActivities-FINAL-EN.pdf