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Daily Gratitudes for Better Bedtimes

One of the mindfulness practices we use at mke MindBody wellness is the acknowledgement of gratitude.  Living in a fast-paced culture, it can be very easy to lose control of our stress and spiral into a mental loop of worry, analysis, frustration, and fear. At all ages, we are faced with stress and expectations placed on ourselves or by others that can make life feel overwhelming. Getting lost in stress robs your mind and body of the pleasure of accomplishment and gratitude.  Sometimes it really is simple: What am I grateful for? There has been a beautiful trend happening on Facebook that challenges individuals to list 3 things they are grateful for everyday for 5 days.  Each day, like a chain letter, the individual must nominate 3 more people to do the same.  We all get to reap the joy of this shift in perspective!  

So I encourage everyone- my children included- to spend the last moments of the day lying in bed and thinking of the 5 gratitudes of the day.  If your mind wants to wonder back into the worry and fear that usually dictates this time of day, try your best to breathe deeply and continue to find things to be grateful for- even if its the sun shining, the roof over your head, or the ability to cherish the time you have with loved ones.  I promise you will find at least 5 gratitudes and feel better for it.

For more on fostering gratitude (not only for kids- these techniques are useful for everyone):

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/seven_ways_to_foster_gratitude_in_kids

http://kidsforgratitude.org

http://phippsscienceeducation.org/2014/01/14/cultivating-attitudes-of-gratitude-teaching-thankfulness-through-nature/