Gratitude Exercises and Activities
Gratitude is a tool to use when clients are filtering out the positive and focusing on the negative. The negativity bias is a natural phenomenon for humans that must be challenges with intent. Teaching clients to actively pursue the skill of gratitude helps them improve their well-being by transforming their viewpoint.
Gratitude Alphabet Activity
Other Gratitude Activities
- Write in a gratitude journal every night before bed. Only grateful things from the day can be mentioned in each entry.
- Draw a picture depicting as many things you're grateful for as you can identify.
- Write a letter to someone who has helped you in the last month with something. Write about how you feel about what the person did. Mail it to them.
- Find something that you can give to someone else. Watch that person respond to your gesture with gratitude.
Tips for Using Gratitude Activities in Group
Here are some things to think about when using a gratitude exercise in group.
- Identify ways to express gratitude. Clients can be grateful for people, places, and things. Expressing gratitude for a person may be easy, but ask clients how to show gratitude for places or things.
- Discuss benefits of gratitude. Happiness and improved relationships are just a couple results of increasing gratitude. Also discuss the difference between being thankful and having a grateful attitude.
- Tie gratitude to cognitive therapy. Gratitude is all about perspective, and so is cognitive therapy. Seeing things from a healthy perspective is challenging, but clients may be able to understand gratitude since it's a familiar term and simple.
- Explore values. Values and core beliefs color the way people look at the world and events that happen around them. Have clients identify those things they are most grateful for and they'll be identifying some of their values. Ask clients if there is a discrepancy between what they say is important and what they are doing.