by Jackie Bowles
In light of the upcoming Thanksgiving season, I have been thinking about the power of gratitude. I have seen so many blessings happen in my own life for being grateful. Frequent displays of gratitude seem to bring more goodness into our lives. In fact, studies show that gratitude really does help you live a happier life.
“Science tells us that an “attitude of gratitude” is a good health choice. Being grateful more often makes us happier and more optimistic. But gratitude also adds to the bottom line – in very real ways. And the best news about gratitude is that it requires little time and no money.” There are five ways that gratitude helps us:
- Gratitude attracts what we want.
- Gratitude improves relationships.
- Gratitude reduces negativity.
- Gratitude improves problem solving skills.
- Gratitude helps us learn.
As parents it is our duty to teach our children to have an attitude of gratitude.. “Dr. Jeffrey J. Froh, assistant professor of psychology, surveyed 1,035 students ages 14 to 19 and found that grateful students reported higher grades, more life satisfaction, better social integration and less envy and depression than their peers who were less thankful and more materialistic. Additionally, feelings of gratitude had a more powerful impact on the students’ lives overall than materialism.”
I personally try to find the silver linings life. Even during difficult times in life blessings can still be found. We need to acknowledge those blessings. Keeping a Gratitude Journal can help in counting your blessings. It is suggested that you write 3-5 things that you are grateful for daily. There are other ways that we can express our gratitude. We can each take a turn around the dinner table and express the things we are grateful for. Spending time in nature is another way to connect with our inner self and think of all the things that we are truly thankful for. I love this YouTube video of people expressing their gratitude. You can see that it makes a huge difference in their lives and in the lives of those receiving the gratitude.
Even those with trials in life can still see things to rejoice over. Last year, I got to hear Nick Vujicic. He is from Australia. He was born without arms and legs and has struggled through the years trying to overcome this obstacle. In spite of his challenges, he has been able to rise above offering hope to those around him.
The most valuable advice given to me years ago was to tell those around me daily “I love you because….” By saying “I love you because_______” we tend to look for the good in those people. The same is true in identifying and expressing gratitude for the things around us. The more we identify the good around us, the better the day will be.
We have so much to be grateful for. I know that taking a few minutes a day to acknowledge the things we are most grateful for, that we are making our life more happy, we will attract the things that we want, our relationships will improve, our children will enjoy life more and we can reduce negativity.
A few things I’m thankful for:
- I’m thankful for an amazing husband, who loves me.
- I’m thankful for good kids that are trying to make good decisions.
- I’m thankful for my religious beliefs that give me direction.
- I’m thankful for extended family that has helped us out so much recently.
- I’m thankful for education, for my kids, and even for me.
- I’m thankful for beautiful weather.
- I’m thankful for the beauty when I walk outside.
- I’m thankful for good friends.
I hope that you can find things that you are grateful for this holiday season, write them down, share them with others and have an attitude of gratitude.