A sense of gratitude helps combat global sadness and compassion fatigue with REI (Resilience, Emotional wellness and Interconnectedness.)
1) Fostering resilience; it reminds us of the positive aspects of life, enabling us to better cope with the challenges and tragedies we encounter (and know about.)
2) Enhances emotional well-being; reducing the emotional exhaustion / burnout that results from prolonged exposure to global suffering and hardship.
3) Promotes a sense of interconnectedness; encouraging us to engage in acts of kindness and support, which can counteract the feelings of helplessness and apathy often associated with compassion fatigue.
Mindful Art: Gratitude - This creative exercise is great for groups as well.
You can make this project simply with paper/crayons/pencil/sharpie or lean in with more effort and use canvas/paint/charcoal/sharpie/paper/scissors/glue
1) Slow your thoughts. Be present. Two deep breaths. Quietly meditate on things you are grateful for. Simple things to complex things. Eyesight, food in refrigerator, hot water showers, electricity, access to paved roads, your car, facetime, health, sparkling water, family, sunshine...
2) Focus on only 5 of the gratitude points. These five things will become visuals.
3) Gratitude 1: assign a color to this gratitude point, and an organic shape. Put this shape in that solid color in the upper center of your piece of paper/canvas.
4) Gratitude 2: assign a color to this gratitude point, and an organic shape. Put this shape in that solid color in the lower center of your piece of paper/canvas. Overlap gratitude #1
5) Gratitude 3: feel this gratitude point... let this feeling become a small pattern (dots, dashing, x's, squiggles.) Using a single dark color put this gratitude 'pattern' on two areas of your paper/canvas. Balanced. A little here, a little there. Each time you make a mark, concentrate on this gratitude point.
6) Gratitude 4: take a moment to meditate on your #4 gratitude point. How does it make you feel? Soft and flowy? Organized and structured? This gratitude point will become a line of appreciation. Using a pencil/pastel/chalk/pen, let your gratitude feeeeeeeel control where the line goes on your page... it must start somewhere off the canvas/page and end somewhere off the canvas/page. Have it overflow onto the other gratitude points.
7) Gratitude 5: This is your final gratitude point. Concentrate on the warm, joyful feeling this appreciation stirs. You can free hand this meaningful symbol or use one of our templates HERE. Assign this gratitude point to a solid color twig/foliage. The length of the symbol should take up most of the canvas/page (top to bottom.)
8) Reflection: time to revisit the meaning behind each step of this art activity. If you participated in this with a group, open a discussion with each other about their gratitude and what means what on their canvas/page. Now, anytime the world is dims your sparkle, take a quick peek at this piece you made...or make another! Enjoy the resilience, emotional well-being and the interconnectedness the exercise will build.