Gratitude makes for happy, healthy families

How can we promote happiness in our environment? Gratitude could very well be the key.Because many of us may lead busy and stressful lives that barely give us quality time to spend with our loved ones, we tend to forget that having them in our lives is a blessing. In other words, we focus on the negative instead of the positive, and that makes us surly... which in turn, can make those around us become dour.

But if we consider positive aspects in our lives, then the time we get to spend with our families is a gift instead of a burden. Being grateful for this gift -and honestly so- can be a way of approaching and improving the world around us, and it is a value that we should share with our loved ones. We live in a society where we are constantly bombarded with the idea that we should feel entitled to having everything and where the rule of thumb is always wanting more. Yet wanting more never made anybody happier and in fact, is a constant cause of anxiety and frustration. On the other hand, there are studies proving that gratefulness brings about more personal satisfaction and a deep sense of well-being.
If for instance you are married and have children, it would be a good idea to instill gratitude in them through little actions, such as asking them to tell you about the good things that happened to them each day, or by allowing them to lead the prayer before dinner and asking them to state something the whole family should be glad about. It’s your own practice of a grateful attitude which will set the pace in your environment, when you share the daily events you feel grateful for.

Besides, this positive environment with less critique and more appreciation makes children more sympathetic and caring.

You could also try being more appreciative towards your spouse. Sometimes, precisely because we see them every day, we become oblivious to how lucky we are to be able to spend time with our chosen life partners! We go the way of entitlement and take them for granted. Remember why you married that person, what led you to choose them, and what led them to choose you. Remind him too, both of all the good old things and the good new things. Has she changed any old habit that you were not exactly thrilled about when you met? Thank her for it. Did he take out the garbage without being asked to? Tell him how much you appreciate it. Share with him the idea of instilling gratefulness in your children, which is bound to open a discussion about the benefits this can have in them and in you two as a couple.

 We are here quoting this dialogue from Yasmin Anwar:

Q. What changes have you seen in kids who practice gratitude?
A. Studies of adults and college students show positive outcomes from consciously practicing gratitude. My own experience with children has been that they become kinder, more appreciative, more enthusiastic and just generally happier.

Q. Isn't selfishness part of childhood and adolescence? What challenges do kids face when learning to express gratitude?
A. Let's talk about teenagers. Their unique developmental task is to individuate — in other words, to break away from their parents (those pesky folks who are just looking for a little appreciation). Their main goal is to get their parents to recognize their wisdom and their independence. And herein lies the problem. Whenever teens follow their parents' instructions for practicing gratitude, they are, in effect, setting themselves up to stay beholden to their parents and other authority figures, which doesn't feel good. But that doesn't mean that we should give up on teaching our teens to feel and express more gratitude in their lives. Here are five tips on how to help teens express gratitude.

 So, here you have the idea: how can you develop your own sense of gratitude towards everything in your life: good things to enjoy and "bad things" to learn from?

Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora is a well known coach, conflict solver and trainer, and CEO of Creative Conflict Resolutions, Inc. Sign up for free, here on her blog, to be connected to her innovative conflict solutions, positive suggestions and life-changing coaching sessions, along with blog updates, news, and more! We can begin by you having a complimentary consultation with Dr. Nora. Visit her coaching site today to talk with Dr. Nora and receive a plan for action to change your life. She's ready to help!

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