“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”– Eckhart Tolle, German writer, 1948
This month of November, people in the US and some parts of the world celebrate Thanksgiving. We feast, enjoy, and be thankful for our blessings during the holiday. Thanksgiving is also a wonderful time to teach our children the value of gratitude and living a life of gratefulness.
As the quote above says, acknowledging our blessings is the foundation for all abundance. Gratitude attracts more beautiful and wonderful things in life. And it is not just a state of mind, of positivity. In fact, studies have shown that practicing gratitude can benefit our well-being, including our children’s.
Here are some interesting facts about Thanksgiving day created by TransCulturalGroup.com.
Here are some study results and evidence showing the benefits of being grateful.
- One study showed that writing about gratitude made participants more optimistic and better about their lives. Compared to those who wrote about daily irritations, they also tended to exercise more and had fewer doctor’s visits.
- Another study showed that people expressing gratitude towards one another felt more positive towards each other and felt more comfortable communicating about their relationship.
- Dr. Kristin Francis, MD, said, “Expressing gratitude can positively change your brain.” It boosts the happy chemicals in your brain (dopamine and serotonin) that improve your mood and make you happy.
- Another research also shows that those who express gratitude tend to share more freely with others, forgive more willingly, and give more emotional support and assistance.
Benefits of practicing gratitude
If you practice gratefulness and instill value in your children, you can improve their well-being and welfare. Here’s a quick list of benefits when practicing gratitude:
- improves lowers stress and improves mood
- leads to lower rates of sadness and depression
- foster optimism or positive outlook in life
- promotes better relationships with family and friends
- improves physical health
In other words, instilling gratitude in your children can help them develop holistically by improving their mental, social, and physical health.
How to develop gratitude in your children
There are many ways to practice and develop gratefulness in your children, including the following:
- Set a good example. The more you appreciate your children and those around you, the more your child can develop gratefulness. A consistent “thank you” for every favor received can go a long way.
- Create thank-you notes. Nurture family relationships by exchanging thank-you notes on certain occasions, like the Thanksgiving holiday. Encourage your children to give thank-you notes to whom they appreciate, like their friends and teachers.
- Encourage journal writing. Tell your children to write anything they are thankful for the day, whether it be a wonderful gift, gesture, or experience.
- Teach them to reset sad thoughts with better thoughts. Some days can be challenging for your children, but you can teach them to make it better. Inspire them to think of something good that may come up from a bad situation. For instance, your child might not be able to go to their friend’s party when sick, but they can rest and recharge for fun activities in the future.
Instilling gratitude in your children does not only benefit their well-being. It would also result in a happier home and make your children stewards of happiness everywhere they go.
FUN FACT: The word gratitude derives from the Latin word gratia, meaning grace, gratefulness, or graciousness, depending on the content of your sentence.