• Dr. Luisa Bryce

Daily Gratitude: Giving thanks for life’s little pleasures

It’s November, the month of Thanksgiving. We’re all getting geared up for the holidays and likely stressing and/or looking forward to spending time with friends and family. Because Thanksgiving is nearing, we might me thinking about thankfulness and gratitude more than usual, and as a parent, you hope to teach your children to express their gratitude too. However, for kiddos, gratitude can be a concept difficult to understand beyond “I’m thankful for my new legos.” As we all know, things usually get easier with practice, and feeling/expressing gratitude is no different. That being said, I challenge you to practice expressing gratitude daily with your children. Why practice gratitude? Simple. Daily gratitude practice leads to increased happiness and we all strive to be happy. Plus, it costs nothing.

Daily gratitude can be practiced in a variety of ways. Many people keep a gratitude journal and write down what they feel thankful for on a daily basis. This is a great idea and an activity you and your children can do together. Take a few moments at bedtime and write down or talk about three things you were grateful for that day and share them with one another. Be specific. For example, don’t just write “I’m thankful for my child.” Instead, write “I’m thankful for the big hug my child gave me when she got home from school.” Think about and focus on the little things. If something negative happens, challenge yourself to think about it in a positive light. For example, if the car breaks down, focus on “I’m thankful I have a car,” instead of stressing over how much money it will cost to fix and the inconvenience it may cause you.

Check out Action For Happiness for more tips on how to express gratitude. And get happy.

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