The happiness and peace a little rock bringssteemCreated with Sketch.

in parenting •  last year

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My kids and I have stumbled upon a secret to experiencing a little more peace and happiness each day. It's very simple - I'm sure you can do it too! And it won't even cost you any money and hardly any time.

What is this secret to happiness? It's quite simple, just a little rock! I call it my gratitude rock.

My kids and I love to go to the beach, and many times when we go, we'll pick a few rocks that we like. They are not extraordinary looking, they're not precious jewels, but those rocks are special to us because we see something special in each rock - maybe the colors are interesting, maybe the texture particularly smooth, sometimes they have curious shapes. Inevitably, these rocks become extra special to us as reminders of the wonderful times we've had together as a family.

A few days ago, my kids and I each picked out one rock serve as our gratitude rocks. I carry my gratitude rock in my pocket and each time I reach into my pocket and touch my gratitude rock, I think of or say something that I am grateful for. My son said the other day, "I'm grateful for having a nice mom who lets me eat yummy cookies!" 😊 I wouldn't say that's particularly deep or spiritual, but I can definitely say that my son's face brightened up when he made that statement. The act of appreciating something as simple as eating a cookie made him more happy.

Our attitudes are like the lens through which we see and experience the world, and I think the gratitude rocks helps redirect our thoughts towards the things that are good and sweet in our lives so we notice them more.

And the effects of the gratitude rock spreads so that it becomes easier and easier to notice the good things in our lives.

Ever since we picked out our gratitude rocks and started thinking of things to be grateful for, my son has requested to talk about our "best moments of the day" each night before bedtime. No matter how tired I am, I can honestly say that talking about the "highlights of our day" always puts a smile on my face and is a heart-warming way to end the day.

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That is such a sweet and inspiring story sizzlingmonkeys!

It is proven that practicing gratitude each day increases the sense of happiness and many happiness gurus recommend keeping a daily gratitude diary. Your suggestion actually makes even more sense, since it will remind you about the things you are grateful for throughout the day.

Personally I had a little stone lying on my desk at work for a couple of years until it someday disappeared. It was a stone my 1 year old daughter had picked up and handed me as a present. Each time I saw the stone, I was filled with love and happiness.

Talk to you later
@ronni

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Your story made me smile. I hope you find that stone again someday although I'm sure you have many more gifts from your children now.

In a fairly materialistic world, it is refreshing to be reminded of how little gifts of no monetary value can be the real "treasures" in life.

aww I really love this article. Love the example you used about your son lightening up when he expressed gratitude for his mom!

I absolutely agree. I just wrote an article about the power of positivity today. Part of being positive is to have gratitude and be grateful for the things in your life.

Also I love collecting rocks too, I think I'll try attaching meaning to some of my special stones and carry them close to me as a reminder.

Awesome read! :)

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Thanks, karensuestudios! It's funny that such a simple thing as thinking of something to be thankful for can make us so much happier!

When my son mentioned the cookies, I almost cracked up. It was not what I had in mind when I thought of gratitude - I was thinking more along the lines of being grateful for good health, having shelter, enough food, etc. I guess kids think differently. Now come to think of it, I'm grateful to be able to eat cookies too!

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hahah! Yes... I do love cookies. Can't say your son is wrong at all. :)

That's lovely... rocks are lovely and seem to be a favorite with all ages... I even paint them, as a creative outlet.

We created a "Good Things" box at our house which is used by three generations now... from us down through the grandkids. It's like a mailbox, and then we have sheets of brightly colored paper on which you can write down something that was "a good thing" and put it in the box. On the 1st of January, we empty the box and read the good things from the previous year as a family event... in place of making New Year's resolutions.

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Hi denmarkguy, what a delightful tradition your family has! It sounds like a really nice way to bring the whole family together to celebrate the good things in life.

your article gave me goosebumps. In a nice way of course. Coz I almost became teary eyed when you're son mentioned the yummy cookies her mom makes. That is so cute and adorable.

I have a rock that I've been keeping for 9 months now. I call it my gratitude rock too because I got it from an adventure trip I did with my boyfriend where we almost got into an accident because the cave was so slippery and deep.

Anyways, I love your post. Very inspiring. I am grateful for reading your article because it made me realized how lucky I am to have a single parent mom who look after us and gave us a comfortable life. <3

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Wow, that's a great gratitude rock you have. I didn't think of being grateful for the lack of bad things before - but that opens up a whole new universe of things to be grateful for!

I'm glad you have a wonderful mom who look after you - it's not easy being a single parent and I'm sure she is an amazing woman.

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awww! she is amazing yes! That's why I'm kinda teary eyed when I read your post. Gotta be grateful everyday! :)

Really excellent article!
It is great that you get to take your kids to the beach and share such an important thing, gratitude.

When I was young my mom would take my brother and I to the beach. These are a few of my best childhood memories. I love the beach

I am so grateful for this. The ocean is such a beautiful experience.
The simple things in live are always the best :)

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Exactly! Some of the best things in life are simple and free!

That is some impressive life lesson right there. We should all be more grateful for what we have in life and remember that health and family are more important than money. I'm glad you teach your kids to think in such a way. Well done! Resteemed!

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Thanks for your comment and for resteeming, razvan-stanciu! Yes, good health, family and friends, and a good attitude all really help towards having a happy life. Of the three, I'd say we have the most control over attitude - it's the thing we can rely on even when we're sick and away from family. And the gratitude rock makes it so easy to have a better attitude! 😀

They are not extraordinary looking, they're not precious jewels, but those rocks are special to us because we see something special in each rock

We have a similar collection, our “earthly treasures,” though we have extended it past rocks and now include dead bugs, shells, and the like.

Our attitudes are like the lens through which we see and experience the world, and I think the gratitude rocks helps redirect our thoughts towards the things that are good and sweet in our lives so we notice them more.

There is good science behind this, too. It is a difficult thing for me at times, but practicing gratitude does help.

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Hi, lilrut, thanks for your comment. Haha, dead bugs! What kinds have your collected? My kids would probably like to collect those too, but I'm not sure I'd be so keen. 😜

I didn't use to believe in "positive thinking" but the science convinced me. Apparently, just thinking thoughts will fire the same neurons as acting the thought out, so when we practice being appreciative, we are literally resculpting our brain and it becomes easier and easier to notice good things.

It was really difficult for me to start noticing positive things too. Before the gratitude rock, the spilt sauce on the table or the macaroni on the floor is what flies out at me. I would notice all the things that annoy me and that didn't make me a very happy person.

This is where the gratitude rock really helped. It keeps reminding me to practice noticing the good things and I'd start noticing little things, like wow, my son went to take his shower at the time he promised! Or I'm glad we live close to a nice library. It all adds up to make me feel much happier and more appreciative for the people in my life and the environment I am in.

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We have a dead moth, a bumble bee, and some shiny green beetle whose kind I am unfamiliar with.

I would notice all the things that annoy me and that didn't make me a very happy person.

I get stuck here often. I have tried slips of paper and a journal, but the habit never stuck. Perhaps a rock...

Cheers.

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Please give the gratitude rock a try! I think it's working for me because it's so simple - I just keep the rock in my pocket. I'd love to hear if it works for you too....

Wow! Great idea hey :) So many things we can be grateful for...
Did you take that photo??

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Oops, forget to add the photo credits! Thanks for reminding me!

Really enjoyed reading your article truly amazing.

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Glad you liked my article!

thats very nice to do :) it really helps and you become more gratefull for everything you got and start enjoying the smaller things in life or the things that are big in our life but we forgot we had them and how much it means for us.

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Exactly. Having the gratitude rock in my pocket really helps remind me to appreciate all of the good things in my life.

It's so chill, helps to clear my mind. Very positive and relaxing. And all thanks to little rock :P
Have a great week and keep calm at this volatile days.

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Glad you found my article relaxing, yaan, and it's pretty amazing what a little rock can do!