The gratitude stones project was born during Christmas, we globally experienced a Christmas full of uncertainties, we were not able to travel, and many of us were not be able to see our loved ones, and for many, it was a Christmas of economic hardship.
Covid brought us more than the physical health pandemic, we are also suffering a pandemic of mental health, anxiety, and depression.
The reality is that there is nothing we can do about any of this at the moment. We just have to brace ourselves and not forget to breathe…
With so much uncertainty, it is difficult to practice meditation and mindfulness, our mind is constantly racing to the future, worrying about things out of our control.
I find that when we can’t sit still, we just have to accept it and do something, well there is nothing we can do about our anxious future-facing thoughts… so what about doing something mindful with our hands? When we put our focus into an activity, especially a creative activity, we help our brain to have a break.
So, what about making some Gratitude stones?
Gratitude stones have been around for many centuries, but in our society, we had more pressing things to do and forgot about them. Thanks to the movie “the secret” gratitude came into focus again, and many studies find that bringing the feeling of gratitude into our lives can have a big impact on our happiness and wellbeing.
The activity I proposed for Christmas, was to make little bags of gratitude stones for the ones we love, and gift or exchange them during Christmas, even if we had to post some of them.
The project was well-received and encouraged me to want to do more, so I gave the local primary school, all the material (stones, acrylic pens, varnish, and guides) to create gratitude stones for the students in years 4,5 and 6. It is a mindful exercise to keep a small gratitude stone in your pocket and use it to self-regulate and change your anxious thought into, grateful happy thought.
We can make gratitude stones as easy or as intricate as we wish, the only important aspect is to mindfully paint our gratitude stones, and imprint them with a big feeling of gratitude, reminding ourselves that even though things are hard, very hard, at the moment, we still have people we love in our lives and all of the other little blessings of life.
There is a gratitude poem that I like a lot and that I copied from ourpeacefullplanet.com, you can print and include this poem in your little bag of gratitude stones.
The rest is simple, just place the gratitude stones in places of your house you visit a lot, like a kitchen drawer, the car, near a window, or in your pocket. Every time you find your stone, take away 10 seconds to hold your stone and think and feel grateful for something in your life, big or small.
Hopefully, this activity will bring you calm when painting, joy when giving, and happiness and gratitude when finding.
Feel free to give a bag of gratitude stones to strangers or to paint the word gratitude in a big stone and leave it in the park, for someone else to find.
I am a believer that when we plant gratitude in our hearts, we can see the world with more happiness. Gratitude reminds us of how blessed we are, even in difficult situations.
Join us in our group https://www.facebook.com/groups/embracekindness and let’s start creating
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