An Attitude of Gratitude

Gratitude is good for us!  Grateful youth are happier, more satisfied with their lives and selves and report higher GPAs, more engagement and less depression.  When others deliberately take action to make our lives better, we are moved toward feeling grateful.  Intention and benefit are concepts that coincide with gratitude.  As adults and teachers we can nurture in our students a more genuine exploration of gratitude when we move beyond lists of what we’re thankful for, and help students consider why the person did it, what the cost was, and what benefits they received from the act.  Students grow this attitude by identifying the people who notice and appreciate them for who they are, thought about what they need, and choose to extend an act of kindness for their benefit.  Andrea Hussong, director of the Center for Developmental Science and UNC-Chapel Hill, encourages us to nurture these 4 parts to the experience of gratitude:

  • What we NOTICE in our lives for which we can be grateful
  • How we THINK about why we have been given those things
  • How we FEEL about the things we have been given
  • What we DO to express appreciation in turn

The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley shares 3 activities from “Open Circle”, an evidence-based SEL program for K-5, to help deepen gratitude in the article link below: