The practice of gratitude is something that helps us through
challenging times and it can help to keep us positively focused. It’s
a skill that we know develops a muscle of optimism and abundance.
Practices of gratitude help develop happiness on a daily basis. Getting into the habit of looking for what we have helps us to feel
joy in our current lives, which then provides us with positive energy.
This positive energy can then be used to buffer challenging
moments in life and move towards feeling accepting of these
difficulties more easily.
What I’ve noticed is that the more we practice gratitude, the easier it
becomes. I find that it is easy to feel grateful for everything that I
have and that this increases my compassion and empathy for
others. Developing gratitude helps to combat jealousy, negativity,
frustration and ‘poor-me-itis’.
It is a skill that is important for resilience and good mental health. It
helps buffer agains depression and the inevitable comparisons that
we tend to make against others. It helps to become less affected by
the pressures to do more, buy more and compete more.
If we want the skill of gratitude for ourselves and our children, it’s
simple to model. And just a tip, telling children ‘to be grateful’ for
what they have or reminding them of how little we may have had (at
their age) is not how to develop it.
If you want to develop a stance of gratitude, it’s important to embed
it into your daily routines. So it could be a question about ‘your
favourite thing of the day’ at tea time, or a question about what they
enjoyed about their day, just before bed. It can be just a simple
question that encourages them to reflect and feel happy
remembering what they already have.
For older children and or teens, it’s encouraging them to develop a
practice of journalling (if they like writing), or even a video journal (if
they like filming themselves). There are some great journals such
as Big Life Journal and happiness journals that provide wonderful
prompts to get them gratitude focused. You could even do this
together as well.
So if you’ve read to this point, (I’m grateful!) AND I wanted to let you
know that just understanding the power of noticing the small things,
can have a big impact in your life.
Have a wonderful day,