Being Grateful is Good for your Health

by Meri on November 21, 2012

As my kids’ language is budding I’ve been really surprised (and impressed) how nice manners are also coming into play. While they form their new sentences I hear a lot of “thank you”, “please” and Poppie’s favorite line, “no thank you”. She uses this phrase quite often. For instance:

me: “Poppie, why don’t you try this chicken?”

Poppie: “ummm…no thank you”

me: “Poppie, let’s sit on the potty chair”

Poppie: “no thank you, not today”

me: “Poppie, it’s time to clean up our toys”

Poppie: “no thank you, maybe tomorrow”

At least she manages to always say “thank you” while telling me no.

I especially love hearing their kind words when they are just interacting together. Mr. was watching a show on television the other day and Poppie stood right in front. He told her he couldn’t see and she responded with, “oh…sorry Mr.” as she moved aside. So sweet. I forget how impressionable they are at this age and what an amazing time to teach them about nice manners, treating others well, being compassionate and grateful.

Of course Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to teach gratitude and it’s pretty cool that our country has a national holiday devoted to this topic. The problem is that it’s easy to forget and focus on the fact that you don’t have to go to work and get to eat fabulous food all day. I love when families have special traditions celebrating the act of gratefulness and is something I want to begin to do as well.

Being grateful throughout the entire year can actually benefit your health. According to Dr. Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!  How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, practicing gratitude regularly can

  • Decrease depressive feelings
  • Increase energy
  • Decrease stress
  • and improve life satisfaction

While this is good for all of us adults to practice, I think it’s amazing that as a parent I get the opportunity to teach my kids how to feel grateful regularly so they can have better mental health growing up. That’s pretty neat to me. I love the ideas of discussing all the nice things that happened that day and always writing thank you cards for gifts. What types of gratitude activities do you practice?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Marla Fruit November 21, 2012 at 6:14 pm

It is the perfect time of year to take my Huckleberries and make jam. What a treat to pass out jars to the people that have given so much to our family!!!


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