Living with gratitude leads you to living a victorious life. Gratitude effects all aspects of our lives. It helps us emotionally, mentally, physically, vocationally and spiritually. When we live with gratitude in our hearts we tend to have richer and more fulfilled relationships. We are kinder and we are motivated more with love than with hate.
There are numerous ways that we can add gratitude into our lives and can make it a daily event. I want to share with you 9 gratitude activities that you can start incorporating into your life. These are simple gratitude activities and don’t have to cost a lot of money. These gratitude activities can be done alone or can be a family project. A few of the activities are great to use with youth groups and even in school classrooms.
Keeping a gratitude journal is a fantastic life skills tool for children, youth and adults. When we focus our thoughts on what it is that we are grateful for in our lives we tend to live our lives looking for things that we are grateful for. Even in our hardest days we can find gratitude if we look for it. The good things don’t have to be major – they might be as simple as a good meal, talking to a friend, or getting through something difficult. You can write in it daily at whatever time that suits you. I like doing mine before I go to bed as I then fall asleep with gratitude in my mind and on my heart. When I first started writing a gratitude journal I would write at least 5 things that I was grateful for that day.
You can purchase a gratitude journal that you basically fill in the blanks. Christianbooks.com has some really cute ones. Click the following link:
A basic notebook can also be used. Some people like creating their own booklets that they then fill in with their gratitude.
If your children are old enough, they can write in their own journal, or for younger children they can verbalize it and you can write it down for them. This not only helps them become more aware of the blessings in their lives, it will also be a fun keepsake when they are older.
Write a Letter
Think about someone who has had a major impact on your life — someone you appreciate having in your life. Write this person a letter with specific details about what you appreciate them for. Thank them for the difference that they made in your life. Once you have written the letter go one step further and send it.
If the person that you wrote the letter to is deceased, you can spend some quiet time with God and read the letter to Him. You can either then burn the letter or keep it.
Say “Thank You”
Keep your eyes open throughout the day for reasons to say “thank you”. Try and recognize the actions that others do everyday that often get overlooked. Some examples are: a friend who is always there to listen to you; your spouse taking out the garbage; or your son/daughter cleaning up after themselves; or your co-worker who works hard.
Take a Gratitude Walk
Go for a walk and make a conscious effort to appreciate your surroundings. Things that you may notice are the smell of flowers, the cool breeze on your face, the laughter of children playing nearby. Spend a few minutes focusing on each of your senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch) to find things that you may not have noticed.
Do An Alphabet Gratitude Challenge
You create a list based on each letter of the alphabet. The list can include people, places, things, events and activities. You can create your list based on the following areas of your life: spiritual, emotional, mental, social, vocational, and physical.
Beginning with the letter A, you make a list of things that you are grateful for. You then move to letter B and make a list of things that you are grateful for that starts with “B”. This is continued with every letter of the alphabet.
Example: A is for acceptance, apples, aunts …. B is for beauty of the outdoors, bacon, bowls (this was my husbands — I think he may of been hungry for ice cream -lol)…
This gratitude activity would be great to do with a youth group or as a homeschool activity.
Engage in a Random Acts of Kindness Day
Did you know that random acts of kindness day is February 17th?
Random acts of kindness day is a day where we are encouraged to engage in random acts of kindness in our communities. Whether it be doing something nice for a complete stranger, a family member, a friend, or a coworker. We take our eyes off of ourselves and we go and put a smile on someone else’s face.
Some examples of random acts of kindness:
letting others go ahead of you in line; donating to you favorite charity; baking cookies for your elderly neighbors; doing a family members chore ….
You do not have to wait for February 17th to do random acts of kindness, any day is a great day for kindness. It can even be a weekly exercise for you to engage in.
You can find more information on kindness in the following link: plant kindness, harvest love.
Keep a “Count Your Blessings Jar”
I love this activity and it is so easy to do. You can do a personal blessings jar or a family blessings jar.
If you are going to keep a family blessing jar I recommend placing the jar where everyone has access to it. With the jar you will want to place scraps of paper and a pen. When members of your family (including yourself) think of something they are grateful for, have them write it on a piece of the scrap paper and put it in the jar. You may want to challenge everyone to add one blessing everyday. At a set time (ie once a month) empty the jar and read all of your thankful thoughts together as a family.
If you are going to keep a personal blessings jar I recommend that you challenge yourself to add 1-3 blessings a day and at the end of every month spend some time reading through them. Some people like to wait and read them at years end.
Any jar (mason etc) or container will work for this activity. You can also purchase really cute ones:
Blessings Jar in dressed-up Mason style, clear glass with white ceramic top and hinged clasp.
|Count Your Blessings Jar
Round blessing jar in debossed ceramic with crystal knob, filled with a batch of blank cards to jot your own blessings and 12 blessing cards to get you started.
|Blessing Jar with Cards
Upscale ceramic jar with cork lid.
Blessings jar is a special place to hold precious wishes, hopes, prayers, and dreams, which can be written on the little cards included
Develop a Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
This is a fantastic way to get your children thinking of gratitude. It also is great for adults and is a fabulous youth group activity. A gratitude scavenger hunt helps us to be aware of all the things that we are grateful for. You can create a list of questions that the participants have to answer. You can draw pictures, write out the words, find actual items, or take photos for the answers. Here is an example of some questions you could add to your scavenger hunt:
Find something that makes you smile
Something I am thankful for — in nature — that tastes good — that smells amazing — that was hard for me.
Find something that reminds you of someone that you love.
Engage in a Photo Gratitude Challenge
A photo gratitude challenge is very similar to a gratitude scavenger hunt. In this challenge you only take photos of all that you are grateful for. Much like the scavenger hunt, you create a list of questions and use photos that you go out and take to answer them. You can go one step further and create a scrapbook with the pictures that you take.
Taking The First Step
I want to encourage you to go over the 9 different gratitude activities and commit to trying one out. If you are already doing one of them, then give a different one a try. Gratitude truly does make a difference in our lives and leads us to living healthier lives. The choice is yours — will you be choosing gratitude?
Do you have a gratitude activity that you do regularly? Are there other gratitude activities that work for you? Are you planning on trying one of the gratitude activities that you read about today? Please let me know in the comments
Be blessed 💞💞💞
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