What are you thankful for?
As I look forward to celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend, what better time to revisit the topic of gratitude. Being grateful can:
- improve sleep
- reduce aggression and lower stress levels
- help us feel happier and more optimistic
- increase satisfaction with life
- increase empathy and help make us more forgiving
Research shows that we automatically make upward social comparisons, comparing ourselves negatively to those with more. But our minds resist making downward comparisons. In other words, gratitude doesn’t seem to come naturally.
Here are five ways your family can put gratitude into practice and make it a habit.
- Capture your currency of gratitude in a gratitude jar. Encourage your family to jot down something they’re thankful for each day on a small piece of paper and then read the notes together at the end of the month or year.
- Take family “gratitude walks” together and use this time to talk about the things you appreciate in nature or the neighborhood.
- Begin a “thankful meal” by sharing a small win or highlight of your day or week.
- Challenge your family to perform random acts of kindness for others.
- And lastly, use a gratitude journal regularly to note the things in your life that you’re grateful for.
Lauren is grateful that her parents, who recently visited from Mill Bay, BC, raised her to be financially responsible, independent and money-smart for life!