Do you grumble when you hear someone say “Happy Thanksgiving” and think, “what is there happy about this Thanksgiving? We don’t get to do anything like we used to.” Are you struggling to find things to be grateful for this season? So many people have suffered such hardship and loss this year. I am with you, some days I just feel crabby and I really don’t why.
It is during these times that I have to remind myself about the importance of having a gratitude practice in my life. I know that what I focus on, I see more of. I also know that our children are watching us and take our lead from our attitude and how we talk about people and the world.
Expressing gratitude may be one of the best tools we have to get us through the tough times! It does not take much time and it does not cost anything but has enormous benefits. Some of the benefits include:
Physical – stronger immunity, better sleep, more determination, and focus
Social – feel less lonely, more compassionate, easier to connect with people
Physiological – more positive thoughts, more energy, more optimistic
Additionally, when children learn to be grateful, they have stronger connections with family and tend to have a better attitude towards school.
So how do you express gratitude or even increase your ability to notice positive things? Here are a few simple ideas.
- Put a paper and pen by your bed and each night write down 3 things you are thankful for.
- Say thank you to others.
- Appreciate your spouse.
- Take a walk and use all of your senses – what to do you see, hear, smell?
- Utilize an app like ‘5-mins-gratitude’.
- Make it a family daily practice – share at mealtime what you are thankful for – it may be a person, an experience, or something.
- Get your children involved in writing notes to other people – sanitation workers, delivery people, grandparents, people in assisted living.
- Help others – even opening a door for someone else or serving in other ways.
There are a couple of sites that I think are wonderful to support parents who are trying to help their children be more positive and not so self-absorbed!
Doing Good Together offers project ideas and opportunities to connect.
Big Life Journal offers activities, podcasts, and even a free printable every Friday if you sign up for their email. They can really help you instill a life-long positive attitude in your children.
Today I am thankful for you for reading my blogs and allowing me to work with so many of you personally. Thank you for trusting me and making such an effort to be the best parent for your children.
As always – do not hesitate to reach out for a private conversation.