Thanksgiving is upon us. I love Thanksgiving because it’s a time to express gratitude for all the wonderful blessings we have in our lives. The holidays are not the only time of year that we should express gratitude. Being thankful every day can benefit your life in a multitude of different ways. Gratitude can positively impact your life and your children’s lives every day of the year.
Gratitude doesn’t take very much time and it doesn’t cost any money. It’s a simple practice that you can implement into your life and your family’s daily rituals. I learned about gratitude about 6 years ago when I watched the movie “The Secret” and read the book. It was a Godsend. It literally changed the way that I viewed myself and viewed the rest of the world. I am so happy that I learned about the Law of Attraction, and gratitude because I fully believe these teachings saved my life. Being thankful for all the blessings that I have has kept me in a (mostly) positive mind-frame while fighting serious, chronic illness and other major adversities.
Did you know that there are numerous studies and research that reveal gratitude can benefit your life in a variety of different ways? Gratitude opens the door to stronger relationships. When you are grateful for your partner or your children, you are likely to resolve conflict more quickly, accept people for who they are and remember why you love them so much.
Gratitude improves psychological health and can reduce poisonous emotional stresses like defeat, resentment and jealousy. I fully believe that stress triggered the chronic illness that I suffered from for several years. De-stress yourself. When I get stressed out or sad, I try force myself think of 5 things I’m grateful for and usually end up smiling from ear-to-ear by the time I’m finished.
Studies show that grateful people sleep better, they have better self-esteem, they have increased mental strength and that it improves physical health. Wow. Those are all powerful benefits, right? Shouldn’t we continue to express gratitude on the other 364 days of the year and not just save it for the day when there are copious amounts of food on our tables and in our bellies?
I wrote this blog post because I was inspired by a video that I saw by John and Nadya Melton. They are a family of marketing extraordinaires and one of the personal development exercises that they do as a family is keeping a gratitude journal. What a great idea! It is my goal to raise grateful children who contribute positively to society, have good manners and who are a pleasure for other people to be around. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at my daughter’s school volunteering and have had other children be demanding, ungrateful and straight out rude to me. Some of these children I can almost guarantee have never had to say a single “Thank you” in their life. That is not the path that we are taking with our girls. They are reminded each day about how fortunate and blessed they are. We balance this with discipline, encouragement and most importantly, love.
Over the weekend, I bought the girls and I new gratitude journals and we began writing in them. I took a video of them reading what they had written. We had SO MUCH FUN. I can’t think of a more positive exercise to do before bedtime. We have always incorporated gratitude into our evening prays but the journals have taken this exercise to the next level. We are excited to continue our journals and have made a commitment to write in them (or draw pictures) every day. Here is our first video, we hope you enjoy!
I would love to know what you and your family are grateful for. Do you have any exercises or practices that you do with your children to encourage gratitude and/or personal development? Please share below, and most importantly, have a very Happy (and Grateful) Thanksgiving!