journaling

Gratitude Journals with See Beautiful

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Last week, we collaborated with See Beautiful to make gratitude journals. See Beautiful is an organization that aims to empower young people to see beautiful in themselves, in others, and to create more beautiful in the world. Paint Love currently partners with two See Beautiful Clubs: 4/5 Academy and Globe Academy.  This project was collaborated with Globe Academy and led by Lead Artist, Liz Carson from Kate's Club. 

Liz started the project by asking what gratitude means to each person. She demonstrated how to make an accordion-style journal and what kinds of things they can draw in it. Kids could draw people, places, and things that they're grateful for. 

 

The unique thing that Liz suggested is that instead of drawing the actual people their grateful for, they should draw something that represents them. Something that is personal and unique to them. It makes the journals even more personal. 

 

Some students drew animals to represent their parents, others drew sports or even superheros! 

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It was so much fun talking with the kids and seeing how they depict the important people in their lives! We loved helping these kids make these unique journals and look forward to working with See Beautiful again!

Journals at Georgia Center for Child Advocacy

This is a guest post written by Paint Love volunteer Sierra Kazin. She is an art education major at Kennesaw State University.

When I volunteered with Paint Love at the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, I worked with girls ranging from 12 to 15 years old. Since I love working with people and I love making art I felt very comfortable- it was the perfect opportunity for me to get involved in my community and I felt welcomed by the Paint Love staff. That day we had the opportunity to decorate journal covers so that the girls could use them for school and/or personal use. We were provided an array of materials and we took turns listening to each other’s favorite kind of music! I learned a lot about each of the girls and they made my experience hilariously awesome! After working with Paint Love, I left with a full heart. The time I spent with the girls and learning about their lives was truly inspiring. Since then, I have looked into art therapy as a potential career path, in hopes to one day help others through art. I absolutely love how art can become a medium for expression, self-growth, and strength. By working with Paint Love I learned that self-growth also relies on the growth of others. At the end of the day, these girls proved to me how kids or students can be our greatest teachers!

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Gratitude Journals at Kate's Club

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Atlanta's favorite feline-themed artist extraordinaire, Catlanta (AKA Rory Hawkins), visited the teens group at Kate's Club to talk about gratitude and create these awesome journals! Kate's Club offers a safe space to face grief for young people who have experienced the loss of a parent of sibling. Creating unique, personalized journals just for capturing our gratitude is a favorite activity here at Paint Love. It's been proven that keeping a gratitude journal and writing for just a few minutes during the day or simply jotting down a couple bullet points about things that made you feel happy or thankful before you go to bed at night, can dramatically change the way you engage the people and world around you. Gratitude journals help lower stress levels, and help establish habits seeking the good in every day.

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Interested in starting your own gratitude journal? Here are some helpful tips and suggestions from the Greater Good Center at UC Berkley: 

  1. Be as specific as possible—specificity is key to fostering gratitude. “I’m grateful that my co-workers brought me soup when I was sick on Tuesday” rather than “I’m grateful for my co-workers.”

  2. Go for depth over breadth. Elaborating in detail about a particular person or thing for which you’re grateful carries more benefits than a superficial list of many things.

  3. Get personal. Focusing on people to whom you are grateful has more of an impact than focusing on things for which you are grateful.

  4. Try subtraction, not just addition. Consider what your life would be like without certain people or things, rather than just tallying up all the good stuff. Be grateful for the negative outcomes you avoided, escaped, prevented, or turned into something positive—try not to take that good fortune for granted.

  5. See good things as “gifts.” Thinking of the good things in your life as gifts guards against taking them for granted. Try to relish and savor the gifts you’ve received.

  6. Savor surprises. Try to record events that were unexpected or surprising, as these tend to elicit stronger levels of gratitude.

  7. Revise if you repeat. Writing about some of the same people and things is OK, but zero in on a different aspect in detail.

  8. Write regularly. Whether you write every other day or once a week, commit to a regular time to journal, then honor that commitment. But…

  9. Don’t overdo it. Evidence suggests writing occasionally (1-3 times per week) is more beneficial than daily journaling. That might be because we adapt to positive events and can soon become numb to them—that’s why it helps to savor surprises.

http://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/gratitude_journal