It’s hard to believe we are almost at the end of the year; and what a great year it has been. Before heading off on our end of year break, I want to talk about Gratitude.
Firstly, what is gratitude and why is it so important?
Many of us express gratitude by saying ‘thank you’ to someone who has helped us or given us a gift. From a scientific perspective however, gratitude is not just an action, it is also a positive emotion that serves a biological purpose.
Positive Psychology defines gratitude in a way where scientists can measure its effects, and thus argue that gratitude is more than feeling thankful it is a deeper appreciation for someone (or something) that produces longer lasting positivity.(PositivePsychology.com)
Many studies have linked gratitude with individuals experiencing a higher level of satisfaction with their lives. When you can appreciate the importance of things in your life, no matter how small or what shape, size or form they might take, it provides a level of contentment and stability.
So how does it work…
Gratitude can change your life because it shifts your focus. When we live in a state of ‘lack’ and negativity, we tend to notice the things that reinforce this so we will see more of that. Over time, our thinking becomes habitually geared towards this.
Conversely, it can also be easy to see things in a positive light, even when problems arise. If you’ve ever met one of those ‘always-positive’ people, you know how true this is. When something goes wrong, they look for the silver-lining in the situation and if they can’t find one, they simply believe that something good will eventually come out of whatever they’re going through.
But it’s not just about being a positive person; having gratitude can change your life because it brings positivity into everything you’re doing. It’s a monumental shift in focus, a new way of seeing things. But it won’t happen overnight. It requires a conscious effort and a habitual retraining of the mind.
One of the habits that can help us move from a negative state to a positive state is by recounting all of the things that we have to be grateful for on a daily basis and writing it down. When we write it down, it becomes more than just an abstract thought and is key in helping us shift our focus.
William Arthur Ward said that 'Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it' so I would like to offer this wrapped present by letting our girls know what I am grateful for.
I am grateful for:
the chance to work with such a diverse group of girls;
their smiles and greetings when we pass each other each day;
trusting me enough to sometimes have conversations that I know weren’t easy for them (this is also true for the families I have worked with);
their continued dedication to growing and learning;
allowing me to encourage and push them outside of their comfort zone when they didn’t believe in themselves or their ability;
their effort and commitment to events that enhance the school experience for all of our students e.g. Pink Gate day, Ponytail chop, RU OK day just to name a few; and finally
the opportunity to work at this great school with such great staff and students.
Acting Deputy Principal - Students