In autumn, more than other season it seems, gratitude becomes a highly researched, written, and contemplated subject. It could be due to many countries celebrating a Thanksgiving holiday (Canada’s Thanksgiving holiday is the second Monday of October) in autumn. I know I’ve been writing about gratitude! And I’ve been contemplating gratitude jar ideas for this autumn season, too.
When did I start to understand the benefits of gratitude? When I experienced the symptoms of burnout including stomach issues, fatigue, and lack of motivation.
Have you experienced burnout? Mental health surveys show that 40% all the way up to 89% of people have experienced burnout. Regardless of what survey we reference, we’re likely to experience burn-out in our lifetime and I am not the exception!
When I began the daily practice of a gratitude journal, my recovery from burn-out began, my energy lifted, and I felt physically better, too.
When I began to accept that life was not just completing my “to do” list (and honestly, is your “to do” list ever complete?) and that it is okay to play before work (as play inspires work, not the other way around), my stress level decreased, my stomach issues began to resolve, and I began to see more of the blessings around me. Overall, I became much more content.
Gratitude is intentional. And finding different ways to practice the attitude of gratitude is a great way to keep gratitude fresh and fun!
I’d heard about others who found a fun way to express gratitude using a gratitude jar. So, I decided to come up with gratitude jar ideas for this autumn season.
I grabbed an empty jar (purchased from the Dollar Store), made a label, tied a bit of ribbon around it…and now have my own gratitude jar! I then created simple gratitude cards from pieces of paper to make it easy for any family member to write a gratitude note.
I know sometimes it can be hard to think of up a gratitude (especially if you are new to practicing gratitude), so I also printed a list with gratitude ideas I had saved from one of my favourite magazine. I then made a match book with the list of gratitude ideas.
An internet search of gratitude challenges will give you many pre-made gratitude lists to choose from, too.
Why is this a perfect time to own a gratitude jar? It’s a creative way and fun activity to help you have an attitude of gratitude as the daylight hours decrease in the winter months that can lead to seasonal blues, and to help get ahead of the stresses that can come with the holiday season just around the corner.
How Gratitude is Good for Your Mental Health
Acknowledging what is the good in our life increases our mental, physical, and spiritual health. Regularly practicing gratitude is a perfect activity to help bring long-term change.
1. Expressing gratitude influences hormone levels
When we express good things, whether verbally or in writing, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin that are known as our “happy” hormones.
2. Gratitude increases seeing the good things in life, even the little things
Everyday gratitude is about noticing the little things in life such as fresh water, a cat’s meow, a warm home. Regularly noticing these little things in daily life lifts are mood and shifts us into a positive mindset.
3. Practice of gratitude helps you find your joy and what you value most
When we write down our gratitudes, patterns can emerge that show us what brings us joy, and help us prioritize our time on what is important to us.
Simple way to make a DIY Gratitude Jar
Gratitude jars don’t have the complicated. Pick your vessel, add a label (hand-written or typed), have a piece of paper handy, and you’ve got a gratitude jar!
1. Mason Jar
I don’t know about you, but I have lots of mason jars in my cupboards! They’ve been very popular for events such as weddings these past few years. Different things, like store-bought jam or peanut butter jars will work just as well!
2. Flower Vase
I like the idea of using a flower vase to slip in a gratitude note. They look pretty on any table in your home, too!
3. Coffee Mug
Do you have a coffee mug you haven’t used because it is “too nice” to use? It might make a perfect gratitude jar!
Three Ways to Help Get Into The Gratitude Habit
1. Add Gratitude to Morning Devotion and/or Journaling
Simply add “What am I thankful for today?” to your daily writing habit. If you need help getting into the habit of journaling, you may like “30 Days Journal Thankfulness, Success, and Joy” (free download)
2. Join a Gratitude Challenge
During the autumn season, there are bloggers and influencers offering gratitude challenges to help you build a habit of gratitude . Here is one (Embracing 30 Days of Gratitude) you may want to check-out!
3. Host a Gratitude dinner
Gather together friends and/or family for a special evening of thanksgiving, give each person a slip of paper to contribute to a gratitude jar, then read aloud the completed gratitude cards, praising God for all that He has done for everyone.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know how to start weaving gratitude into your life. Creating a new habit, even a healthy habit, takes dedication and time.
Finding a great activity to keep you motivated and on-track for bringing more gratitude in your life is key.
If you’re struggling to create a gratitude practice in your life, making a gratitude jar may be the physical reminder you need! And remember, keep it fun! When we play, we naturally appreciate life.
LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1
What is a creative way you express gratitude? Do you have a great idea for a gratitude jar?