Gratefulness #8 – Cultivating a Habit
In Making Grateful Kids, Jeffrey Froh and Giacomo Bono tell about their research on the benefits of gratitude among young people.
They’ve found that grateful young adolescents (ages 11-13), compared with their less grateful counterparts, are happier; are more optimistic; have better social support from friends and family; are more satisfied with their school, family, community, friends, and themselves; and give more emotional support to others.
Young adolescents are also physically healthier and report fewer physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and runny noses.
They’ve also found that grateful teens (ages 14-19), compared with less grateful teens, are more satisfied with their lives, use their strengths to better their community, are more engaged in their schoolwork and hobbies, have higher grades, and are less envious, depressed, and materialistic.
Cultivating a habit of gratitude is healthy for all of us.
Paul reflected an attitude of gratitude as he wrote, “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly . . . singing to God with gratitude in your hearts (Colossians 3:16).
Some ways for cultivating gratefulness:
• Keep a daily gratitude journal for at least two weeks to record specific things for which you feel grateful.
• Think of ways to say “thank you” or “I appreciate you” to coworkers.
• Live one entire day in utter thanksgiving. Just. One. Day. No criticisms. No complaints. Thanksgiving. Just. One. Day.
• Tell people in serving industries who might be overlooked that you appreciate what they’re doing.
• During the last waking moments of the day, recount the Lord’s Prayer that ends with the praise, “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”
Don’t just “be thankful”. Become a thankful person.
May your prayer and mine be, “Lord, you have given so much to me. Give one thing more, a grateful heart.”
~ Pastor Dave