Counselor's Corner

Gratitude

Greetings, St. Mary’s Parents/Guardians,

As the holidays approach, we are often reminded to pay attention to the things we are thankful for. At St. Mary’s, we are hoping to use gratitude year round as a way to improve mental health and school success.

Gratitude means noticing simple pleasures, acknowledging the positive, and counting blessings. It is a way to shift out of negative self-talk, confront pessimism, and build happiness.

Research has shown that gratitude can improve health and well-being, lower stress, strengthen relationships and make people happier and more resilient. For those of you who are more visual, here is a link to an infographic that shows the positive effects of gratitude on physical and mental health: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/23/gratitude-effect-body_n_6510352.html.

How to encourage gratitude in your teen:

1) Model gratitude by enjoying the little pleasures in life. Practicing gratitude and feeling the effects yourself will help your teen want to try it too!

2) Help them notice and appreciate daily gifts–ask them what’s going well and share what is going well for you. Consider adding this into your dinner routine.

3) Help them start a Gratitude Journal–have them choose a specific time of day (i.e. during dinner, before bed) to make a list of three or more things they for which they are grateful. And, yes! There’s an app for that! http://gratitude365app.com/#features https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=no.vistamedia.grattitude&hl=en

4) Encourage them to write a letter to someone who has helped them in some way — paying it forward is always a good thing!

5) Set up a family volunteer event to give back to your local community.

Take care,

Allison, Amy, and Anne