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Mindfulness Exercise for Gratitude

Expressing gratitude is a Thanksgiving tradition, but it has benefits that expand beyond the holidays. Taking the time to acknowledge the bright spots in our lives can improve our mental health and overall wellbeing.

Our Art Therapist, Susie McGaughey shared a kid-friendly exercise to help you and your family ground themselves during challenging times. Pause on each finger for at least 20 seconds and reflect on the five topics below. Then create a visual representation with your child by having them trace their hand and write or draw what they're grateful for on each finger.

  1. Hold your baby finger. Think about someone in your everyday life who you appreciate like a grandparent or friend. It could even be a pet. Imagine that person and why you are grateful for them.
  2. Hold your ring finger, bring something “BIG” to mind that you appreciate like your family, your strong body, or a warm home. Think about why you appreciate this big thing.
  3. Hold your middle finger, bring to mind something “small” that you appreciate like a sunny day, your favorite outfit, or a lick from your dog. Think about why you are thankful for this small thing.
  4. Holding your pointing finger, think of an “activity” you enjoy like going for a walk, jumping on a trampoline. Think of why you enjoy this activity.
  5. Hold your thumb, think of a possession you are grateful for like a cuddly toy, a piece of jewelry or a TV. Think of what makes this possession special to you.