The Attitude of Gratitude: How the art of appreciation can boost your happiness.

“Don’t look back you’re not going that way.” – Marcia Wallace

We all experience challenges in our lives, but when we focus on the bumps along the way we can forget to enjoy the journey! While we do need to recognise and deal with our feelings, holding on to negative things in our past does not serve us well. This way of thinking could lead us to expect disappointment, skewing our outlook on life with sadness, frustration and anger. It’s important to be mindful of the thoughts we choose to think. Studies now show that a perspective of appreciation can significantly improve life satisfaction and happiness – something we all want!

When we teach children how to value what they do have, this is linked with better life fulfillment. It is important to validate all feelings both positive and negative while instilling a positive sense of self and gratefulness. Here are a few of my favourite tips for teaching children how to acknowledge and look for what goes well in their lives;

  • Keep a gratitude journal – It’s great to fill this out before bed to remind you of all the wonderful things that continue to happen in your life. You don’t have to do this every day – just whenever you feel inspired!
  • Smile and say ‘thank you’ – There is nothing quite like appreciating what you are thankful for, the moment it happens. You will start realising just how many nice things really happen in your day.
  • Ask your kids to share – At dinner time ask them to tell you one good thing that happened in their day and one not so good thing. This may be an opportunity for you to help them process their day, put it in perspective and will help you to see what they value most.

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