Did you know that gratitude can improve your health? According to research, expressing gratitude has been linked with an overall improved sense of well being. Expressing gratitude isn’t just for Thanksgiving – it is a practice that can be incorporated into every day.  For seniors, expressing gratitude is an important part of maintaining mental health. Looking for opportunities to express gratitude in small or big ways every day helps cultivate a positive outlook. Here are some ways that caregivers can help support expressions of gratitude.

Keep a gratitude journal. Caregivers can help seniors keep a journal and write down something they are grateful for every day. Reviewing the journal together at the end of the month or week is a fun way to reminisce about the highlights of the week.

Write a thank you note. Writing thank you notes is a creative way to express gratitude. Thank you notes can be handcrafted using pressed flowers or leaves from nature, painting, stenciling or calligraphy. Seniors and caregivers can express creativity and gratitude by crafting thank you notes together.

Create a gratitude tree. Create a tree and on each paper leaf, write something you are grateful for. At the end of the month, you are left with a beautiful piece of art.

Say thank you every day.  Saying thank you every day is a positive way to cultivate gratitude. Verbalizing gratitude creates a positive connection.

Meditate. Meditation is one way to engage in gratitude. Connecting to spiritual practices to express your gratitude cultivates positive thinking and an overall sense of well being.

References

Sansone, R. A., & Sansone, L. A. (2010). Gratitude and wellbeing: the benefits of appreciation. Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)), 7(11), 18-22.