Gratitude is more than the simple act of saying thanks; it is a deep appreciation of people and things in our lives that allows us to move beyond the act of giving thanks to the emotion of feeling grateful. It is this emotional response that positive psychologists such as Dr Martin E. P. Seligman have shown to have a positive, lasting impact on one’s wellbeing and our relationships with others.
Gratitude can be practiced in many ways. It can be a private practice such as mentally taking note of the things you are grateful for or recording this in a gratitude journal, or we can share our gratitude by writing cards or notes to others or verbalising our gratitude. Last weekend I joined my friends for a lovely Sunday Roast and, after sharing a meal, they invited me to join their family ritual of sharing one thing they were grateful for from the past week. Both sharing my own gratitude and listening to that of everyone else around the dinner table was a timely reminder to me of just how much we have to be thankful for.
Of course, developing our personal practice of gratitude does not mean that we will never face any setbacks, difficulties, or challenging changes. But someone who is grateful for all that is positive in their lives is less likely to become completely overwhelmed by these negatives. Most of us are natural critics or cynics in the sense that we replay negative experiences over and over in our minds. Whilst it is helpful to analyse these experiences somewhat in order to learn from them, practicing gratitude ensures that we notice and remember the positives in our lives, keeping the negatives in perspective.
Here are some of the things that BSHS staff and students are grateful for this week:
“I am grateful for the opportunity I was given this week to meet with a number of H1 students for their practice interviews. Listening to them talk about their strengths, aspirations, and how they’ve grown and flourished at TES made me feel very proud of them as individuals and proud of our school as well.” (Ms. Papps)
“I’m grateful for close relationships with people who care for others. They make life have meaning.” (Mrs Bracken)
“I am grateful for the ability to avoid many of the COVID-19 restrictions present in other countries.” (Iggy)
“I’m grateful for my friends and family's support and care.” (Thomas)
“I’m grateful that the Year 7 students continue to persevere and work hard, week in and week out!” (Mr Imbleau)
“I’m grateful to my Mom for buying new clothes for my interview.” (Matthew)
“I am grateful for Yangmishan; what a place to be every day.” (Mr Warren)
“I am very grateful to all the staff in our school for making TES a safe, clean, and comfortable place for the student's education.” (Mia)