This semester our character trait at Kilvington is GRATITUDE.
But what do we mean by gratitude? Being thankful and appreciating things? Sure, we all say thank you to people when they help us, right?
However, in this post we are talking about “practising gratitude”, not waiting around for something to feel grateful for, but actively thinking about it.
Our students will have many opportunities to practise developing gratitude on a day-to-day basis as part of their curricular and cocurricular program. Our Character Initiative includes some examples of how this is put into practice.
Practising gratitude helps us to put challenges into perspective and move us through tough times, and there is scientific evidence of the benefits of practising gratitude.
Dr Emiliana Simon-Thomas from the University of California, Berkeley, Greater Good Science Centre, where they are studying the effects of practising gratitude says, “studies consistently show that people who keep a gratitude journal are 25 percent happier than those who don’t. The people who did the gratitude [journal] showed increases in happiness, reductions in stress, and reduction in vulnerability to physical symptoms, such as headaches”.
In addition, people who practise gratitude:
- Report higher energy levels
- Have better sleep patterns
- Enjoy improved alertness
- Demonstrate great determination
- Have a decreased risk of depression
- Are better able to offer emotional support to others.
Appreciating the little things helps to bolster self-worth and self-esteem.
How to practise gratitude:
- Keep a journal. It doesn’t have to be every day, but try to keep to a routine
- Keep photos and words promoting gratitude around you to remind you!
- Acknowledge one ungrateful thought during the day and replace it with a grateful one
- Say thank you more often!
You can find more tips on keeping a gratitude journal here.