Research shows that gratitude has many benefits. It can improve parents’ well-being and family functioning, increase resilience, strengthen social relationships, and reduce stress and depression. The more grateful people are, the greater their overall well-being and life satisfaction. They’ll also have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, better sleep. They’ll be more alert and more generous, compassionate, and happier.
How to Feel More Gratitude?
Our brains love novelty, so they are always looking for the next bright shiny object. But brains that are easily distracted by these novelties are undisciplined and can lead to procrastination and never finishing tasks. To train brains, you want to start or change a habit. For that, brains need consistency and repetition. So, to create a habit of gratitude, consistently look for new ways and reasons to be grateful.
Even when you find yourself complaining or judging something to be negative, find some aspect of it for which you can be grateful. This is not being untruthful with yourself or denying feelings like you would with toxic positivity. You can still notice your initial feelings and then choose to find something grateful for in that moment, with that situation or person or any other reason.
Here are some ways to practice gratitude from The Science of Gratitude:
- Find 3 reasons a day to be grateful, for 21 days.
- Find a positive experience and spend two minutes writing down every detail about it, in a bullet list form, each day for 21 days.
- Spend 20 minutes a week writing a letter to someone you’re thankful to know. Whether or not you send it is up to you.
For more resources on this topic check out these:
Parents Tool Talk® episodes on Gratitude:
- Why to Raise Grateful Children, featuring Damara Simmons. Get this 21 minute audio/video package 2 ways:
- Opt in to the “Fantastic Freebies” resource to get access to this audio/video package and dozens more.
- Become a member of the free Parents Toolshop® community and you get access to the “Fantastic Freebies” and many other free and fee-based resources. Plus, you can connect and communicate with other members in a private forum.
- Teaching Children Gratitude, featuring Annie Zirkel. Listen to it on our BlogTalkRadio station.
- Read the related article here: How Do You Teach Children To Have An Attitude Of Gratitude & Instill A Spirit Of Giving? – Parents Toolshop®
Jody Johnston Pawel, LSW, CFLE is the author of the award-winning book, The Parent’s Toolshop and president of Parent’s Toolshop Consulting, where she oversees an international network of Toolshop® trainers. She has 30 years’ experience as a top-rated speaker and parenting expert to the media worldwide, including serving as the Co-Producer and Parenting Expert for the Emmy-nominated Ident-a-Kid television series. Currently, she hosts the Parents Tool Talk radio show and is a parenting expert columnist for Chic Mom magazine. She has produced almost 100 multimedia resources, which are available at her award-winning website, www.ParentsToolshop.com.
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