Our Family’s Daily 5 Minute Gratitude Practice
Every evening, our family observes this simple 5 minute gratitude practice. This daily exercise is one way we are teaching our kids to live their lives more in the moment and thus help them lead a happy, fulfilling life.
Our Family’s Simple 5-Minute Gratitude Practice
Every night at the dinner table, we discuss each of our day’s by telling one another what happened that made us feel happy or thankful. Sometimes, our gratitude is about something that may seem small. For instance, today I am thankful to simply have the time to write this blog, and Gavin was grateful for being able to play Zombies vs Pokemon at recess. Our 5 minute gratitude practice is not about thinking of really deep things to be thankful for. It’s more about teaching all of us, not just the kids, to stop, think, and appreciate things as they happen no matter how small.
How Our 5 Minute Gratitude Practice Works
Our simple 5 minute gratitude practice works like this. Every person in the family has to say 2 things that happened that day in which they are grateful. We each say our 2 gratefuls, and then move on to the next person. For now, it’s just my wife, Gavin, and I since Kaitlyn and Ethan are currently not able say what they are grateful for. However, I will say 2 things on their behalf. I make sure to reach out and touch their hand or look them in the eye, so they know I am talking about them. Usually, I just say something that happened that made them smile that day. For example, today, Ethan (our 10-year-old with autism) was grateful that I took him on a 20 minute drive this morning.
When we do our gratefuls for the day, we make sure that we are not grateful for things. Instead, we focus on the people or experiences that occurred that day. I try not to repeat the same things because that would be an easy way to render this practice ineffective. I try and set the example by finding new things everyday to be thankful. Although, I do often say that I am grateful everyone is enjoying the dinner I just made, but I try to do 2 things in addition.
Stress and my inability to handle it has had a profound impact on my well being. Therefore, being mindful and living in the moment is a major focus for my own personal health and happiness. It’s something I still struggle with but continue to work towards everyday. I want to ensure this way of life is much easier for my kids. Ideally, living a more mindful life will become second nature for them. I am hoping that this simple 5 minute gratitude practice will help them get there.
These sites also have great ideas to teach gratitude:
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