This time of year tends to bring out what our family calls the “I wants.” That’s the feeling one has when one walks into a store (online or in a mall) and starts to feel like they want everything in sight. Whether it’s the newest video game, a Princess doll or a little black dress, the feeling is the same. And it’s not a feeling we like to encourage. We have been significantly helped this year by our son’s first grade teacher whose project for the kids is to “write letters that make other people feel amazing.” She has brainstormed with them many ways to express thanks, sincerely compliment others and contemplate the positive impact they have on your life. So, instead of writing Hanukah wish-lists, our son (and now the rest of us) are writing gratitude letters instead. There is plenty of research that points to the benefits of an “attitude of gratitude.”
- Gratitude has been linked to better health, more restful sleep, falling asleep more quickly, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior towards others.