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Did you know that GRATITUDE is the SECRET to ABUNDANCE?
Thanksgiving is about a week away, so, we thought it would be fun to do a short video everyday about the virtue of gratitude all of all its amazing benefits. We’re calling this video series:
“Week of Gratitude – A Thanksgiving Countdown”
T: Over the past 15 years, there has been tons of scientific research linking the practice of consistent gratitude with a host of positive outcomes for our lives. It turns out that gratitude inspires feelings of abundance and can lead to improved health, heightened happiness and overall wellbeing and life satisfaction.
Every day we’ll be sharing 1 video in our countdown to Thanksgiving. Each short video will include stories, statistics, and some science, plus engaging gratitude-building activities for you to do as an individual or with your family. We’ll also be asking you to share some of your gratitude practices and traditions so that we can all learn from each other.
A Week of Gratitude - A Countdown to Thanksgiving
Activities for Day #1
“Pass the pumpkin” – With your family and/or friends, pass a small pumpkin around the dinner table as each person names something for which they’re thankful.
“Gratitude Journal” – Write 3 – 5 things you’re thankful for (in a journal, on your phone, or anywhere).
Research shows that expressing gratitude builds happiness, optimism, improved physical health, and stronger relationships. Expressing gratitude is most effective when it’s shared verbally or in writing (rather than just keeping all those thankful thoughts in your head).
Please watch this video (DAY 1) today, then join us tomorrow for DAY 2 (and on to day 7 which is Thanksgiving Day). Wishing you and yours a season of gratitude, abundance, fulfilling relationships and joy!
Have you ever wondered how some people can seem to have a naturally optimistic attitude? They seem to go through life in a mindset of abundance and positivity, regardless of the challenges they may be facing. What is their secret? Watch DAY 2 to find out.
Day 2 Gratitude Building Activities:
First, Take a nature walk. As you walk, use all of your senses to mindfully savor the beauty all around you. This experience can enhance gratitude because it builds a sense of awe, as you come to recognize that you’re part of a grander whole. If you’re with a friend, your spouse, or a child, you can take turns naming your “gratitudes” as you walk.
Another idea is to make a cornucopia or a collage with pictures of all of the things for which you are grateful. Children especially love this activity.
Best of all, do what Dr. Georges and her son do. Find someone to serve. That way you can LIVE in thanksgiving, as you lift the burdens of someone in need.
If YOU want to live in abundance and become a “practiced optimist,” stick with us on this gratitude countdown!
On Day 3 we talk about how gratitude can build resilience and inspire hope during times of adversity. We’ll also teach how to recognize and overcome roadblocks to gratitude, that can sometimes get people stuck. Finally, we’ll share activities that can help you leverage gratitude, to bring about growth during hard times.
Day 3 Gratitude Building Activities:
Gratitude Reframe: When facing a challenge, ask yourself, “Even though this is hard, what can I be grateful for in this situation?” OR “What strengths & resources do I already possess to help me rise to meet this challenge?”
Resilience Reflection: Write in your journal about a time when you faced a challenge. Then express your gratitude by making a list of what you learned & how you grew stronger because of it. You can help your kids do this too. Young kids can draw pictures (instead of writing).
Research shows that EXERCISING GRATITUDE can bring you a host of upgrades in your physical health and overall wellbeing. After years and years of research, Dr. Robert Emmons concluded that “Gratitude is literally on of the few things that can measurable change people’s lives.”
So are you ready for an easy upgrade in your health? Here’s a game that will improve your health in 2 ways (exercising your muscles and exercising your gratitude)
Gratitude ball – (it can be ping-pong, four-square or basketball). It’s is an easy game where you receive the ball and then when you send the ball away, (whether tossing it, throwing it, or hitting it with the paddle), you say something you’re thankful for. Game changer rule: You can’t say the same thing twice and you can’t say something that someone else has said.
Today we’re talking about Helping Kids develop Gratitude. How do we teach gratitude to children who live in a world of entitlement and abundance? Even parents who consider themselves in the lower income range tend to have far more money and luxury than they themselves had growing up. It’s normal for parents to want to give their kids a more abundant life, but how much is too much?
Here are 4 ideas to help kids overcome entitlement by developing gratitude:
1. Don’t always give kids EVERYTHING they ask for.
2. Teach kids to work, earn, and save for the extra toys and gadgets they want.
3. Teach them to serve and to enjoy helping others in need.
4. Establish regular gratitude practices and routines (such as
gratitude journaling, writing “thank you” notes, etc.).
5. Give your favorite family games a “gratitude twist” to help
kids associate FUN with GRATITUDE!
Research shows that gratitude deepens bonds and nurtures relationships. This is true in a marriage, a dating relationship, with your children, your extended family, and even co-worker connections. Everyone needs to feel appreciated. Studies show that the more appreciated someone feels in a relationship, the more committed they become to it and the more motivated they are to invest in and build it. When people feel appreciated they are more likely to continue thoughtful and generous behavior. You might call it a gratitude cycle and it begins with just one expression of gratitude.
Gratitude activities to build and strengthen relationships:
1. Use specific,”others-centered” gratitude & process praise (publicly & privately).
2. Spend quality time with others and listen attentively to what they have to say.
3. Tangible “gratitudes” (flowers, chocolates, and “thank you” notes) are also nice.
4. Service is a great way to show gratitude. Doing what the other person
needs, in the moment, will be the most valuable.
5. Express gratitude to others for their support in your accomplishments & give
them credit for the part they played in your success.
Challenge: Express gratitude in 3 of the most significant relationships in your life and do it TODAY. You can choose an idea from the list we just gave you or make up your own way show gratitude. Whatever you do, make it meaningful and specific.
Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s the recap of a “A Week of Gratitude.”
Giving thanks is not just for Thanksgiving. It’s something we should do every day. In the words of William Arthur Ward, “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” Wishing you and yours an abundance of thanks giving blessings AND Thanksgiving blessings!