Thanksgiving and Christmas is over but our gratitude doesn’t have to be. Finding time to appreciate the goodness in our lives takes practice. Just like exercise, you need to practice your gratitude muscles. When you continue to do this you can rewire your brain towards positive emotions rather than the negative feelings of anxiety, depression, or stress. Research has shown that you can rewire your brain pathways in order to feel happier and more optimistic when focused on the gratifying parts of our existence. In a study conducted by Greater Good Research Center (GGRC) at the University of California Berkeley, they say that gratitude frees people from getting bogged down by anger and ruminating on all that has gone wrong. This helps us recognize the forces and people who bring more good into our lives. So with your students, kids, or yourself find three things daily to be grateful for. Spend two minutes around the dinner table sharing what you are grateful for. Who knows, it might alleviate the stress and worry in your life more than you know. Let’s choose to boost our self-worth and see the goodness that this world has to offer. Think of a new perspective where you can count your blessings rather than the burdens of stress that feels like are overloading you.
One of our activities in the Dignity Revolution Challenge is called the Marble Jar. Your goal is to fill up a jar with ways that OTHERS have shown dignity and respect. Flipping the script and seeing the positive in others can help change this world for the better. Be caught doing good or be caught being appreciative in lieu of being pessimistic.
A few other ideas would be write an e-mail or card telling someone positive things and why you appreciate them. Do an act of kindness to lift someone up. Affirm the good that you see. Write down in your journal things you are blessed with.
Find things to be grateful today. It can and will change your perspective on life.