Gratitude is the Secret to Life Albert Schweitzer
One of the most important elements of the thriving for kids is to awaken them to gratitude. Focusing your thoughts of gratitude actually changes the pathways of your brain creating feelings of well-being and a change in attitude, behavior, and energy. Robert Emmons, Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology, drew from recent scientific studies to establish the profound benefits of gratitude. Studies indicated, recording gratitude in a journal every day, or even every week, had a profound impact on measured feelings of happiness in research participants. Emmons found people who regularly practice grateful thinking can increase their “set point” for happiness by as much as 25 percent.
It is evident, the practice of appreciation and gratitude is not just a healthy activity; it improves our brain function and in turn levels of well-being and satisfaction in life.
One way parents can grow thriving their children is to live as an example a life full of gratitude. While most of feel a level of gratitude for just being born in Canada, gratitude can go beyond “things” to be about another person or more relational, “I am really grateful to have a friend like Jenny” “I feel thankful when you consider my feelings.” Expressing this kind of gratitude builds relationship and enhances the well being of others as well as ourselves.
Keeping a gratitude journal is also a popular way to grow gratitude and feelings of happiness. The Kid’s Journal to Thriving is a gratitude journal for kids available on the website. In my counseling practice in Burlington and Dundas I use the Kid’s Journal to Thriving as a key element in working with kids to grow their self esteem and level of well-being.
(How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, Houghton Mifflin, 2007).