Get Crafty with Gratitude Trees this Thanksgiving

BetterArts this Saturday will create gratitude trees with children at Hospice of Jefferson County in order to express the youngsters' thanks to people they love who are no longer with us.

 

The arts 'n' crafts project is part of an annual partnership between betterArts and Hospice of Jefferson County, in which the two groups come together to provide a holiday party for children whose loved ones have passed away. This year's holiday party comes during the Thanksgiving season; so it is a fitting time for the children to focus on the gifts left behind by those who have passed away. These gifts may be in the form of memories, stories, life lessons, surviving family members, or anything else the children can imagine.

Image from

Kid Space Stuff

.

Those at the event will also be given the option of recording their fondest memories of their loved ones; a project undertaken by betterArts latest initiative,

Better Radio

. Those who opt to participate may have their memories burned onto a CD; or even broadcast on-air.

Here's some information on the healing power of gratitude, as published at the Chopra Center:

Many scientific studies, including research by renowned psychologists

Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough

, have found that people who consciously focus on gratitude experience greater emotional wellbeing and physical health than those who don’t. In comparison with control groups, those who cultivated a grateful outlook:

  • Felt better about their lives as a whole
  • Experienced greater levels of joy and happiness
  • Felt optimistic about the future
  • Got sick less often
  • Exercised more regularly
  • Had more energy, enthusiasm, determination, and focus
  • Made greater progress toward achieving important personal goals
  • Slept better and awoke feeling refreshed
  • Felt stronger during trying times
  • Enjoyed closer family ties
  • Were more likely to help others and offer emotional support
  • Experienced fewer symptoms of stress

If you want more happiness, joy, and energy, gratitude is clearly a crucial quality to cultivate. It is a fullness of heart that moves us from limitation and fear to expansion and love. When we’re appreciating something, our ego moves out of the way and we connect with our soul. Gratitude brings our attention into the present, which is the only place where miracles can unfold. The deeper our  appreciation, the more we see with the eyes of the soul and the more our life flows in harmony with the creative power of the universe.

- See more at: http://www.chopra.com/ccl/cultivate-the-healing-power-of-gratitude#sthash.f6jPMFkv.dpuf

Many scientific studies, including research by renowned psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, have found that people who consciously focus on gratitude experience greater emotional wellbeing and physical health than those who don’t. In comparison with control groups, those who cultivated a grateful outlook: - See more at: http://www.chopra.com/ccl/cultivate-the-healing-power-of-gratitude#sthash.f6jPMFkv.dpuf

Many scientific studies, including research by renowned psychologists

Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough

, have found that people who consciously focus on gratitude experience greater emotional wellbeing and physical health than those who don’t. In comparison with control groups, those who cultivated a grateful outlook:

  • Felt better about their lives as a whole
  • Experienced greater levels of joy and happiness
  • Felt optimistic about the future
  • Got sick less often
  • Exercised more regularly
  • Had more energy, enthusiasm, determination, and focus
  • Made greater progress toward achieving important personal goals
  • Slept better and awoke feeling refreshed
  • Felt stronger during trying times
  • Enjoyed closer family ties
  • Were more likely to help others and offer emotional support
  • Experienced fewer symptoms of stress

If you want more happiness, joy, and energy, gratitude is clearly a crucial quality to cultivate. It is a fullness of heart that moves us from limitation and fear to expansion and love. When we’re appreciating something, our ego moves out of the way and we connect with our soul. Gratitude brings our attention into the present, which is the only place where miracles can unfold. The deeper our  appreciation, the more we see with the eyes of the soul and the more our life flows in harmony with the creative power of the universe.

- See more at: http://www.chopra.com/ccl/cultivate-the-healing-power-of-gratitude#sthash.f6jPMFkv.dpuMany scientific studies, including research by renowned psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, have found that people who consciously focus on gratitude experience greater emotional well-being and physical health than those who don’t. In comparison with control groups, those who cultivated a grateful outlook:

  • Felt better about their lives as a whole
  • Experienced greater levels of joy and happiness 
  • Felt optimistic about the future 
  • Got sick less often 
  •  Exercised more regularly 
  • Had more energy, enthusiasm, determination, and focus 
  • Made greater progress toward achieving important personal goals 
  • Slept better and awoke feeling refreshed 
  • Felt stronger during trying times 
  • Enjoyed closer family ties 
  • Were more likely to help others and offer emotional support 
  • Experienced fewer symptoms of stress 

If you want more happiness, joy, and energy, gratitude is clearly a crucial quality to cultivate. It is a fullness of heart that moves us from limitation and fear to expansion and love. When we’re appreciating something, our ego moves out of the way and we connect with our soul. Gratitude brings our attention into the present, which is the only place where miracles can unfold. The deeper our appreciation, the more we see with the eyes of the soul and the more our life flows in harmony with the creative power of the universe.

Gratitude trees are a great project for you to embark on solo; but they also make wonderful projects for the whole family. Here's all you need to make your very own!

Wall-Mounted Gratitude Tree

Image from

My Insanity

.

You'll need a roll of colorful paper, construction paper, and markers or paint (whichever you like, or both!) Simply cut a big tree with a bunch of limbs out of the paper and adhere it to the wall with double-sided tape. Cut leaves from the construction paper and write one thing you are grateful for on each one before sticking each leaf to the branches

Gratitude Tree in Vase

Image from

Little Green Blog

.

You'll need a vase (betterArts will be using vases donated to  by the

Whimsical Pig

in Watertown), pebbles or marbles for the bottom of the vase (optional), small branches collected from outside, string and construction paper. If you like, you can even tie a ribbon around the branches to hold them together. Put the branches and pebbles in the vase, add the branches, and then cut leaves from the construction paper. On each leaf, write one thing you are grateful for. These make terrific centerpieces at Thanksgiving!

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Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.