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San Domenico School News & Events

Expressing Gratitude Benefits the Brain
Student Gratitude Board


This week's May Mental Health Month mentoring focus in the Upper School was on the power of Gratitude. Mentoring groups started their session discussing the definition of Gratitude: 

Gratitude (thankfulness or gratefulness) from the Latin word gratus, meaning "pleasing" or "thankful", is regarded as a feeling of appreciation by a recipient of another's kindness, gifts, help, favors, or other form of generosity to the giver of such gifts.

After expanding on this definition, the group was directed to explore an article from a Greater Good study that shows that developing a regular practice of expressing gratitude—such as letter writing—improves mental health and increases happiness for those who might be suffering from depression and/or anxiety. Put simply, expressing gratitude has a positive effect on the brain.

Putting this learning into practice, Upper School students completed Gratitude Cards. Keeping in mind that gratitude is being thankful, grateful, and showing appreciation, students wrote down their responses to the following prompts:
Share about a person, place, or thing that made a difference in your life.
How have you been changed?

Gratitude Cards were then posted on the student board in the Upper School hallway, where students can pause and absorb these expressions of gratitude throughout the day.

– Dr. Jon Herzenberg, Associate Director of Upper School