Thank you so much for being a part of the Umbrella Project and helping us improve wellbeing for everyone!

Each month, we focus on one piece of what makes a powerful umbrella of wellbeing skills and this month we are adding gratitude to our umbrellas.

Gratitude is the skill that helps us recognize all the things we have instead of getting stuck on the things we do not have. Our brains pick up more on threats and negatives than positives as a survival mechanism. To counter this, we need to make sure we help our children see the positives as often as possible. Teaching your children to focus on what they do have instead of what they do not is a powerful positive coping strategy that can get them through many of life’s difficult days, strengthen their relationships and protect against anxiety and depression.

This month we are excited to share all kinds of ways you can make practicing gratitude a fun and natural part of your child’s life.

Your Gratitude Tip: Make gratitude accessible and visible.

In preparation for gratitude month, add a box of thank you cards to your shopping list and put them in the centre of your kitchen table along with pens, crayons, markers, stickers, etc.

Challenge your family to write thank you cards throughout the month for the people who help them. This could be teachers, friends, neighbours or anyone whose actions – big or small – make our lives better. Most people do not mind making sacrifices for others. In fact, giving to others is a great way to improve our wellbeing. When we recognize people for their efforts and express our gratitude, it helps that person to feel they are appreciated for their efforts and adds to the wellbeing benefits. The few extra minutes that it takes to show our gratitude this way can have a huge impact on someone else.

In addition, gratitude benefits the person expressing it by stimulating the reward circuits in our brain and flooding us with good feelings. Gratitude is good for everyone!