We were recently contacted by Kellie Amanda Edwards from Australia, founder of mindfulness4mothers.com Kellie has started a relay that we think is creative meaningful and fun. We asked her to put together a blog explaining the idea and here goes! Thank you Kellie!!
I know you have heard of Mothers Day, but have you heard of a Gratitude Letter? Better yet, have you ever given one? It is an unexpectedly uplifting experience. I gave one to an ex boss of mine and she kept it for years. It’s nice to be appreciated. And it feels pretty good doing the appreciating too!
So you can probably see where this is heading. Mothers Day is coming up – what a perfect time to ask your children to tell their mother, in their own words, what they love and appreciate about her. How about they write it in a letter she can keep? You can help them if they are too young to write. My husband did.
Here comes the best part. Then you have them read it aloud to her – with your help if they need it – and really make her day. Everyone in the family has all the positive emotions buzzing through their bodies and brains (read on to see why that is SUCH a good thing for everybody).
Then we will make it even better. If you can record the reading and the reaction, take a photo of them hugging and the end and a photo of the letter, pretty quickly you have the ingredients of a heart warming video that we will post on our YouTube channel with others – and you can all watch it and send it to your family and friends.
Gratitude is one of life’s most vitalising ingredients. Research has shown that practicing gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life. Beyond these benefits, it feels good in its own right to appreciate that we have been the beneficiary of freely an generously bestowed kindness. After I have convinced you of the science behind gratitude and how good it is for the whole family to be involved, you can check out the video we made from the letter my children surprised me with:
- Stronger immune systems
- Less bothered by aches and pains
- Lower blood pressure
- Grateful people exercise more and take better care of their health
- Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
- Higher levels of positive emotions
- More alert, alive, and awake
- More joy and pleasure
- More optimism and happiness
Social Benefits: grateful people are…..
- More helpful, generous, and compassionate
- More forgiving
- More outgoing
- Feel less lonely and isolated
(adapted from Robert Emmons, why gratitude is good)
It can relieve suffering, heal old hurts, and opens us up with feelings of warmth and tenderness
It has one of the strongest links to mental health and life satisfaction of any personality trait
Grateful people experience more of the other positive emotions like joy, enthusiasm, love, optimism and it also protects us against other more destructive emotions like envy, resentment, greed and bitterness.
It nourishes a fundamentally affirming life stance – it is saying YES to life
And it helps us cope with stress, both in everyday life and trauma, recover more quickly from illness and enjoy more robust health AND sleep better
AND it can be cultivated – in an enjoyable way. By writing a gratitude letter for example!
Here’s my sweet letter:
So go on, Make Mum’s Day and make the world a kinder place, one Mom at a time.
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Proudly sponsored by mindfulness4mothers.com