Who would have thought that simply being grateful could have so many health and wellbeing benefits?
In experimental trials conducted by the Greater Good Science Centre at Berkley University Calafornia, a group of people were asked to write down 5 things they were grateful for each day. Over a period of weeks the group showed, amongst other positive outcomes, increased alertness, better sleep, improved social interactions, improved health and even reduced blood pressure. In a similar study with Grade 6 & 7 students, they showed increased academic outcomes, improved relationships with parents and teachers, and improved social interactions.
The Bible states that thankfulness is a fundamental part of our Christian life. In 1 Thes.5:16-18 we are instructed to "give thanks in all circumstances." Genuine thankfulness and gratitude equips us with a resilience to endure all kinds of situations. Instilling an attitude of gratitude into our family is a priceless gift. Here are some ideas to encourage gratefulness in your family.
Start a Gratitude Journal
Get your kids to write down 3 things they’re thankful for each day. This may take some practise and a little guidance to help them get started. Ask them, “If you woke up tomorrow and you only had the things you felt thankful for today, what would you have?” Suddenly, they become aware that they woke up in a comfortable bed this morning, they had a hot shower, they had food to eat and family who loves them. With practise, they’ll find new things to be thankful for every day.
Put a jar or a box on the table for each family member, along with some scrap paper and pencils. Each day ask everyone to write little ‘gratitude notes’ to each other and put them in their jar. ‘Thanks for taking the bins out.’ ‘Thanks for helping me build an epic fortress in Minecraft.’ ‘Thanks for shooting hoops with me.’ When we feel seen, our sense of wellbeing increases. It also builds harmony in the home when everyone’s deliberately looking for the good in each other.
Family Gratitude Challenge
Here's a great video for kids about looking at people differently.
Mums and Dads, here is something for you. It's worth taking the time to watch this video.