Taking Your Gratitude Further

gratitude-rhnThis blog post was written by Recovery Help Now’s, Leslie Kolb, MSW, ASW.

Over the course of this month, we’ve discussed how beneficial it can be to create a practice of gratitude, and how much that practice can add to your daily level of happiness. But with Thanksgiving week upon us, as we all take a moment to take stock and list all the things for which we are grateful, let’s find a way we can share that gratitude with others.

Since this is a week when many of us encounter family members, friends, or loved ones, perhaps we can take that opportunity to share with one another how grateful we are for each person in our lives. This might look different for each of us—we might call a family member to tell them we miss them this holiday, or send a friend a note in the mail. Maybe you simply take the time to tell your children how glad you are that you had them, and how much you love and care for them.

Speaking of children, a holiday like Thanksgiving can also provide us a great opportunity to help our children get in the practice of gratitude. Think back—wouldn’t it have been nice to have known how to maintain gratitude at an early age, especially during tough periods during your life? If you have children, you can create an activity for the holiday that helps them stretch their capacity to feel grateful for things.

The activity can be as simple as each family member making a list and sharing it with everyone else. Or, if you have young children, perhaps you create a turkey by tracing your hand on construction paper and listing one thing for which you are grateful on each “feather.” Through a sharing gratitude activity like this, you can help your children identify feelings of gratitude and encourage them to cultivate their own practice.

This week, maybe even on Thanksgiving, take the opportunity to stretch your own capacity to feel gratitude. Considering the frenetic pace of the holidays, there couldn’t be a better time to do so. Happy holidays!


Elana Clark-Faler
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