Five Ways to Create a Family Gratitude Practice

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One of my favourite ways to bring mindfulness into my daily life is to gather up gratitude. From making a list of things I'm grateful for at the end of the day to noticing the gratitude I feel in a specific moment just to pull me out of a bad mood, finding gratitude daily is a go-to self-care move for me. 

That said, I also roll my eyes when people say unhelpful comments when I'm upset about how I should just be grateful for all that's fine in my life. That can feel very dismissive of the feelings I'm having about something. Because yes, of course I feel grateful for many things in my life, but I also can feel upset about other things. 

As I try to teach my daughter ways she can express gratitude - toward others and through noticing it as a mindfulness practice - I'm amazed by the little things she notices and how important the concept has become to our everyday lives. 

Here are five ideas to help you start a gratitude practice for yourself and your family. 
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Keep a Gratitude Diary

Within a gratitude diary, you simply write the things you're grateful for. You can write your list daily or even weekly. You can have a set number of things or just list as many as you like. Each member of your family could have a diary or you could keep a family diary. There are actual gratitude diaries out there or you could use a  simple notebook.
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A Big Gratitude List

This is one of my favourites - you keep a big list of gratitude on your fridge or somewhere else in your home. You can use  huge sticky notes or a big roll of paper. Bring up gratitude in conversations with your kids and have them write their own gratitude on the list. You might find yourselves even pointing out moments of gratitude to one another. 

Around the Dinner Table

As you sit down at the dinner table or as a conversation starter during dinner, have each person share one or two things they're grateful for. This helps your kids begin to notice the everyday gratitude in their lives, and it reinforces how important it is to listen to one another and connect during meals together.
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Writing Thank You Notes

Help your kids notice the people who positively impact them on a daily basis. Have conversations about who has shown them kindness and how it changed their day. Then write some thank you notes. I have a friend whose mum instilled in her that you should always write a  thank you note, and years later, when I receive one from her, it is like receiving an actual gift because it is so full of thoughtfulness. We are losing the art of the written letter. Help your kids learn how to do this one.
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Gratitude Jar

Have each member of your family write down what they're grateful for about each other and put the gratitudes in a jar. Then read them together once a week or once a month. Writing the gratitudes could be a practice you do every evening - or once or twice a week. You could have each person write something about every other member of the family or just one thing. You could also make this more general and have each person write something daily and then read them aloud together. Think about how this one would best work for the size of your family and the age of your kids. What I love about this one is that it adds a secret element to it, which turns it into a bit of a game for kids. Then you have the joy of reading them all together. 
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Gratitude becomes a very positive habit for you and your family, and I hope you enjoy trying one of these ideas out. If you do, come back and share your experience in the comments so we can connect about it. 

Here are is another guide you might enjoy: 
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WRITTEN BY:  lizlamoreux
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