Fostering a sense of gratitude means learning to appreciate what we have, even if it seems like very little. Have you ever known someone down on their luck who still makes time to help others? Or someone that can find humor during the most difficult times? These are usually people who are grateful for what they have, and who get personal satisfaction out of helping others.
Incorporating gratitude into your everyday life.
A recent study showed that people become happier when they actively practice gratitude. But if you’ve been looking at life through a lens of competitiveness and unfairness, it might be hard to get in the spirit of being grateful. You can start by keeping a journal for a few weeks and writing down the things you are grateful for. They can be as simple as “being able to walk,” or “living near my grandparents.” The list can be short or long. The important thing is to spend a few moments each day reflecting on your life in a state of gratitude. It helps put everything in perspective.
Are there painful things in the past that are hard for you to let go? Things someone said or did? It can be really difficult to forgive, but doing so gives you a much greater chance of moving on and enjoying life. Developing a sense of gratitude can help you along this path.
Acknowledgement: Portions of this fact sheet were originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com,
a website that helps teens get through tough times.
Many articles in this section were adapted from WeRNative.org, a website for Native Youth by Native Youth