Focus on Gratitude
Gratitude is a way of seeing that alters our gaze. When we live with gratitude as a core aspect and lens it enhances all the spheres of our lives. It springs from an acceptance of another’s thoughtfulness and gives us recognition of all the good things in life. It is important to appreciate that the practice of gratitude is free, readily accessible, available to everyone, creates a ripple effect through every area of our lives and satisfies our deepest yearnings for happiness, better relationships and our quest for inner peace, health and contentment. There are remarkable benefits with a life centered on living with gratitude: produces sustained reductions in perceived stress and depression, lowers levels of stress hormones, reduces feelings of hopelessness, increases levels of optimism, improves sleep, creates a stronger immune system, increases positive emotions, improves relationships with others and decreases feelings of loneliness. It is the quintessential positive trait by creating a perspective of life lived as a whole with a positive focus. It helps to link memory and learning centers of the brain and helps to create neural strength.
As adults, we are powerful role models for our developing youth. We can positively influence them and help them learn to live with a focus on gratitude.
Think of tools we personally can use and encourage our teens to also use:
- Keep a Gratitude Journal
- Keep a Blessings Jar
- Write a Gratitude Letter
- Make a Gratitude Visit
- Write a thank you note
- Practice Silence and Meditation
The rewards multiply and magnify our feelings of wellbeing.
There is a quote from a prisoner, “Expect nothing, appreciate everything.” It teaches us to focus on gratitude for the positive things we can all find in the moment.
Barbara J Green, Ph.D.