Written by: Natalia Stark
There is ample research showing that incorporating a gratitude practice into our everyday lives can significantly increase happiness and well-being and reduce stress. Despite these benefits, working to acknowledge the positive parts of our lives and focusing on gratitude can be challenging. It is hard to know where to start and how to "do it right." Here are a few suggestions to increase your focus on gratitude and reap some of the positive benefits from this simple practice.
Simple meditations and mantras on gratitude:
Jack Kornfield offers several helpful phrases that make up a mindful Meditation on Gratitude and Joy Here are a few pieces of this quick meditation:
"I offer my gratitude for the family and friends I have been given."
"I offer my gratitude for the community I have been given."
"I offer my gratitude for the life I have been given."
Here are some Sanskrit phrases to awaken and vocalize gratitude:
Dhanya Vad: I feel gratitude or I am grateful.
Kritajna Hum: I am gratitude.
Practicing Gratitude with Children
The children in our lives can benefit from this gratitude practice, too. Speaking together about our gratitude can be a beautiful way of bonding with our families and encouraging our children to focus on positive emotions.
- Have your child write down something they are thankful for on strips or shapes of paper,
and use the strips or shapes to create a gratitude chain or garland. Hang the chain or garland from the ceiling or on the wall.
- Go through the alphabet and try to find something starting with each letter that you are grateful for.
- Practice naming/saying aloud some things you are grateful for at mealtimes or during other daily routines (some ideas are in the car ride to school/daycare drop off, at bath time, or right before bed)