People who exercise gratitude are 25 percent happier according to a study conducted at the University of California at Davis.
Raising my kids to be grateful is important to me. I don’t want to raise selfish, entitled adults.
When I’m around my children I point out what others have done for them–a lot. I remind them to say thank you and express gratitude in their words and actions. I share stories with them about people who act selflessly, who work hard and who live humbly.
I point out where I’m grateful to them.
And, if someone exercises gratitude with something I’ve done I share with my kids how much their gratitude meant to me.
Positive reinforcements make a difference.
There’s an old saying that if you’ve forgotten the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with happiness. – Ocean Robbins
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love that there are no expectations wrapped around this day. Sure, you want to have a juicy turkey but I don’t let things like that ruin my fall holiday. I love that we gather together as a family for no other reason than thankful hearts united.
Gratefulness & Depression
Several studies have shown depression to be inversely correlated to gratitude. It seems that the more grateful a person is, the less depressed they are. Philip Watkins, a clinical psychologist at Eastern Washington University, found that clinically depressed individuals showed significantly lower gratitude (nearly 50 percent less) than non-depressed controls.
Depression is in my family DNA. I know I’m genetically predisposed to go there. And, there was one time I did. But, I do things that keep me from that dark, sad place. A posture of gratefulness is key.
- Openly share five things you’re grateful for every day.
- Write these things down in a journal. If you don’t have one–start one.
- Write thank you cards.
- Let your kids hear you expressing your gratitude to your husband for things he does for you and your family.
DO NOT EXPECT others to be grateful. That just trips us up. The truth is, a lot of people just won’t be. It takes effort.
Gratefulness was highlighted in the devotion I shared with my youngest two this morning. I LOVE that gratefulness has been on my heart and sure enough this story in the Bible came to mind.
The Ten Lepers
Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19
That one leper blew us away this morning. Only one out of TEN found their way back to Jesus. This ONE healed leper got the lion share of our focus today.
Only one went back to thank Jesus.
Only one gave Him the glory.
Only one practiced gratitude.
Gratefulness is so very beautiful. It is noticed clearly by a hurting world. Still, it must be nurtured.
On a scale of one to ten lepers—how grateful are you today?