gratitude exercise with kids and adults

A simple gratitude exercise

A simple gratitude exercise that can be done alone, or with a partner, or in groups. I have done it with both kids and adults with beautiful results every time :-)

Expressing gratitude often seems pretty easy. Doesn’t it? At least I thought so. But I faced an unexpected challenge. A month ago, I had decided to start every morning with a sentence of “I am grateful for this new day”. You know what happened? It wasn’t that it was difficult to say that, but what was difficult was to remember to say it. But since I had made that intention whenever that thought came or rather whenever I remembered I would say it. That is how it is currently going on and I hope little by little it will become a habit. I hope.

In that hope also lies the optimism that one can train oneself in the skill of gratitude by simple practices. The practices may seem mundane at first but as they slowly become a natural part of my life, they will be just like opening eyes every morning. It is mundane and yet such a beautiful thing to be able to do!

I came across a very simple gratitude exercise in a book that I am reading. The book is ‘Active Hope’ by Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone. The exercise can be done individually or with a partner or even in a group. I have done it in all 3 ways and I every time I am amazed at the emotions it stirs up and the positive warmth it brings to the heart. Sharing it here and I hope you will find it useful too:

Open Sentences on gratitude

simple gratitude exercise

Below there are 5 open sentences. Read the beginnings of sentences and complete them with whatever naturally flows. You can either think it, or say it out loud, or write it down. You can do it alone or with a partner taking turns to listen and speak or in a group. Whenever you are not sure of what to say, come back to the beginning of the sentence and see what naturally follows. 

Some things that I love about being alive on Earth are…

A place that was magical to me as a child was …

My favorite activities include…

Someone who helped me believe in myself is or was…

Some things I appreciate about myself are…

You may also repeat these exercise and notice how your answers might be different each time you do it. I’ve done it with adults and I’ve also done it with children. With children some of the sentences like ‘a magical place..’ are more in present sense than past.

Have a lovely day and Happy Thanksgiving!

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