Welcome to November. This month is a reminder to be thankful for all things. When we express gratitude, we improve our physical and mental health. What exactly is gratitude? Gratitude is a feeling that occurs in interpersonal exchanges when one person acknowledges receiving a valuable benefit from another (Emmons & Stern, 2013).
Researchers examined the effects of gratitude on persons with low to moderate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Participants completed writing exercises for 6 weeks, 5 days per week, for 15 minutes daily. Researchers discovered that participants who intentionally focused on gratitude through writing exercises were more likely to show decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety. Not only did their symptoms decrease, they remained at low levels during a 6-month follow-up.
This study showcases that the ability to express gratitude is essential for mothers. Expressing gratitude decreases depression and anxiety; thus, it is easier to engage with your child. Positive engagement strengthens the bond between you and your child, and you are also teaching your child how to be thankful.
How do we start our gratitude journey? The first step is to cultivate gratitude.
How to Cultivate Gratitude?
- Pay attention to blessings that you may take for granted. This helps to block negative thoughts.
- Write down what you are grateful for. This helps with thought organization and helps put gratitude into context.
- Share the things you are thankful for with family and friends. This helps to strengthen relationships.
- Set up a picture board with the things that make you feel grateful. A visual reminder will trigger good thoughts and improve your mood.
- Volunteer with charities. This serves as a great reminder of why we should be grateful.
- Reflect on a scripture verse that demonstrates gratitude. This helps to strengthen our focus on gratitude.
The next step in the gratitude journey is writing what makes you grateful. Here are some writing prompts to get you started.
Gratitude Writing Prompts
- What three things made me feel grateful today?
- What challenge did I overcome recently?
- Who are the three people I feel grateful to have in my life?
- What three things do I enjoy doing?
- What three things am I grateful for in my job?
- What makes me happy to be alive?
- What are three things I like about myself?
- What is my favorite family tradition?
- What three things about modern life am I grateful for?
- What are three things I enjoy about my family?
- What skills am I thankful I have?
- What are three things that I enjoy about my children?
- What made me feel loved today?
- What three scents do I enjoy?
- What three things make me smile?
Daily reflections help on our gratitude journey. Here are ten bible verses to help you on this journey.
Bible Verses for Gratitude
- In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
- This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
- O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 107:1
- Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phillippians 4:6-7
- The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. Psalm 28:7
- And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Colossians 3:15
- Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:14
- Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10
- Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. Psalm 95:2
- The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm23:1
This November as I start my gratitude journey, I reflect on what makes me thankful to be a mother.
Things I am Grateful for as a Mother
1. I am thankful for the unconditional love my children give me. No matter what kind of day I’ve had, when I come home to my children, they always greet me with hugs and kisses that make everything better.
2. I am grateful for the moments of joy and laughter that come with being a mother. From silly jokes to hilarious dance moves, my children bring so much happiness into my life.
3. I am thankful for all the little things my children do that make me proud. Whether it’s a good grade on a test or an act of kindness towards someone else, these moments remind me why I became a mom in the first place.
4. I am grateful for all of the lessons my children have taught me about patience, understanding, and unconditional love. It is amazing how much you can learn from your children.
5. I am thankful for all the hugs and cuddles that come with motherhood.
6. I am grateful for the adventures we have shared as a family; these memories will last forever.
7. I am thankful for the times my children have made me laugh until it hurts. Their funny stories and jokes never fail to put a smile on my face.
8. I am grateful for the little moments we share daily.
9. I am thankful for all of the opportunities motherhood has given me to grow and learn more about myself as a person and as a parent.
10. I am grateful for all the special occasions we celebrate together as a family—birthdays, holidays, anniversaries—these are some of life’s greatest gifts.
I hope you have found various ways to start your gratitude journey. You can also check out this 30 day gratitude challenge that will inspire you.
Make this November the month you start your gratitude journey.
Emmons, R. A., & Stern, R. (2013). Gratitude as a psychotherapeutic intervention. Journal of clinical psychology, 69(8), 846-855.
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