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Building Kind Schools and Communities


Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. ~Cicero

Gratitude has been gaining attention in recent years, thankfully. :)  The research findings are fascinating, exciting and hopeful!  It turns out gratitude, like kindness, is good for us in numerous ways. It plays a role in preventing bullying as it promotes well-being and good mental health. When people feel better they behave better and are more inclined to be kind. Gratitude builds resilience which is simply important for all youth as they learn to cope with the inevitable challenges and difficulties in life.  Also, kids (and adults) who have good coping skills and are more resilient are less likely to hurt others.

Gratitude is good for us physically, psychologically and socially. Wow!!

The following list of the benefits of gratitude was found on Greater Good in a compelling article by Robert Emmons. I encourage you to read the rest of the article  Why Gratitude is Good.

• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Exercise more and take better care of their health
• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking

• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More alert, alive, and awake
• More joy and pleasure
• More optimism and happiness

• More helpful, generous, and compassionate
• More forgiving
• More outgoing
• Feel less lonely and isolated.

How can you incorporate more gratitude in your family’s day? 

  1. Begin each morning with expressing gratitude.
  2. Pause at mealtimes and throughout the day to be grateful.
  3. Write little notes of gratitude to each other.
  4. At the end of each day reflect together on what you were grateful for that day.
  5. Once a week send or hand deliver a thank you note to someone you are grateful for.  Make this a family ritual.
  6. Keep a family gratitude journal that is out where family members can add to regularly. Perhaps tape a page on the refrigerator to write on throughout the day/week.

Find more ideas on our Pinterest Gratitude board

Learn more about gratitude:

5 Reasons Why Gratitude is Good for Your Health

The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

Growing Gratitude

4 Strategies to Turn Gratitude into a Lasting Habit

10 Ways to Become More Grateful

In the Classroom 

Gratitude: A powerful tool for your classroom

Gratitude Can Fuel School Transformation

Gratitude Activities for the Classroom  (Many of these can be adapted for home and other places.)

In the Workplace

Five Ways to Cultivate Gratitude at Work

What Does a Grateful Organization Look Like?

Don’t forget to be show gratitude and kindness to yourself.
Gratitude for You Too: 11 simple ways we can be kind to ourselves

I leave you with one of my favorite little videos: GRATEFUL: A love song to the world  :)  May your days be blessed with love, kindness and gratitude.  ♥ ☮ ~Ann, director of JHFK