I hope well, but it’s 2020 so I’m pretty sure that, like everyone else, the path you’re walking on feels new and unfamiliar. Normally November has us looking forward to holidays and family time, but it’s likely this year’s celebrations will be different for many of us. This all feels hard.
That’s why now, more than ever, it feels right and important to give thanks, and to do it often. I find tremendous benefit in practicing gratitude and I’ve tried to use what influence I have to help my students to do the same. Because of that desire, for the past few years I’ve encouraged ALL my subscribers to take my Gratitude Challenge. This year I’ve refined it so that together we can teach your child or student to make it a habit.
Why the Gratitude Challenge?
The benefits of practicing gratitude are well documented. They hit just about every aspect of our lives. But here are just three of the ways it can help us.
Gratitude keeps us living in the present. It’s hard to feel anxious about the future when you are fully engaged in the now. Giving thanks keep us from feeling nervous about what’s going to happen. And in a time of unknowns, we need all the help with that we can get!
Gratitude also helps us push back against negative emotions. Anger? Fear? Confusion? Gratitude can help. If you’re feeling mad or frustrated about something from your past, gratitude can help you find a nugget of joy, even in the crummiest situations. Feeling confused about a situation? Gratitude can help clarify what you want or need from it. The list goes on–if you’re feeling something uncomfortable, gratitude can help shift your mindset on it.
Giving thanks can melt away stress. Gratitude triggers a shot of dopamine–the feel good hormone. So cultivating gratitude can make you feel happy, over and over again. It’s a surefire way to feel better. All you have to do is train your mind to find the things you can give thanks for!
There are many more benefits, but hopefully just those will motivate you to come along with me on this month’s challenge. Here’s how it works:
Have your student make a list of one or more things they are grateful for every day. They can make the list or you can write it for them.
Do that for five days in a row.
Post a picture of the list in the Facebook group with the hashtag #Gratitude2020 by Tuesday, November 24. (If you’re not on Facebook, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “GRATITUDE 2020”.) Make sure your student’s first name and age is on the picture!
Watch for your student’s list in our 2020 Gratitude Celebration Video, Thanksgiving week. We’ll send it via email and post it online.
Want to participate yourself? I’d love to see the lists you come up with, too.
More than anything, I want you to know that I am personally so grateful for you. It encourages me that so many people just like you are out there, thoughtfully pouring into the next generation with all the teaching you are doing. I’m proud to be a part of that. It’s important and I know that together, we will send some excellent people into the world.
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