Practicing Gratitude

Believe it or not, 2021 is already coming to an end. As we continued to maneuver the pandemic throughout this strenuous and crazy year, our community partners have also continued to provide outstanding services and support to Franklin County residents. Their work and dedication to the community through the difficulties of COVID-19 has been inspiring, and on behalf of Franklin County, we would like to say, THANK YOU! We hope you know that your support doesn’t go unnoticed and each and every organization is SO appreciated!

Thank you to all of our community partners for an amazing year of teaching, donating, volunteering, vaccinating, learning, supporting, and so much more! We look forward to another great year of partnerships in 2022!

As the community has recently celebrated Giving Tuesday, there are many ways to continue with the spirit of gratitude throughout the year. Reflecting on what you are thankful for every day can help you have a positive outlook on life and realize what is really important. Practicing gratitude can also help improve your mental health and your relationship with others.

According to mindful.org, building your gratitude isn’t difficult, but just takes practice. Start by observing each “thank you” you say-how are you feeling when you express your gratitude? Stressed or absent minded, like it is just a habit to thank someone? Think about what exactly you are thanking them for. Then choose one interaction a day to stop and take note of. Can you name what you are thankful for before actually saying “thank you”?

Research has also found that gratitude can be linked to better sleeping patterns, strengthening your immune system, and feeling less alone and isolated. The little things that we consider doing for others, whether it is holding open a door for someone or telling them to have a great day, aren’t really so little and can change someone’s entire day.

If you’re not sure where to get started, here are some examples of how to practice daily gratitude:

  • Keep a gratitude journal to start the habit of reminding yourself of any gifts and benefits you experience on a daily basis, big or small.
  • Remember the bad so that you can compare any hard times that you’ve experienced to how far you have come and what you have to be grateful for now.
  • Share your gratitude with others and make sure someone knows how thankful you are for them when they do something.
  • Use visual reminders to serve as cues to trigger thoughts of gratitude, as the two main obstacles to gratefulness are forgetfulness and a lack of mindful awareness.

You can find more tips and information on gratitude meditation, how to do daily gratitude journaling, and the specific effects of practicing gratitude in the link here. More ideas on how to express gratitude with your children can also be found here.