November, the season of Thanksgiving, gives us a special chance to focus on gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation for life. We are often encouraged at this time to think about people, memories, situations and circumstances for which we are thankful and to share them with friends and family. This week's #bebetter52 challenge gives you the opportunity to display your gratitude by making a gratitude tree.
A gratitude tree could be a construction paper tree taped to your window, some sticks in a vase with leaves tied on with ribbon, or it could be a tree you print out and stick on your fridge. You can either write down what you're thankful for all at once, or you can fill in a leaf each day with something new for which you're grateful. If you want to involve your family, ask your kids to draw pictures of what they're thankful for while you reflect with your family on gratitude and it's importance.
Some benefits to expressing gratitude are feeling happier and more optimistic, feeling less materialistic, and reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It lowers the risk of major depression and improves self-esteem as well. If you find yourself in a rut and can't think of much to be grateful about, below are some prompts for your gratitude tree. Remember, the more you add to your gratitude tree, the more you will find to be grateful for!
What tradition are you grateful for?
What talent or skill do you have that you're grateful for?
What book are you grateful for?
What struggle are you grateful for?
What friend or family member are you grateful for?
Rita Schiano, resilience strategist and life coach, said that talking about our problems is one of our greatest addictions. Break the habit, by talking about your joys. Post a picture of your gratitude tree with the hashtag #bebetter52 and earn more money toward charity!