Does your family has the same tradition as mine? After the Thanksgiving time together, you all share what you are thankful for? It is the part I love the most; even more than the dressing, which is saying a WHOLE lot!
For forever God has been telling His people that a grateful heart is a happy heart, well now scientists are deciding He’s right (how about that!)
In the Journal of Happiness Studies, Dr. Jeffrey J. Froh, an assistant professor of psychology at Hofstra University, shares his findings after a survey of 1,035 high-school students. His survey revealed that the students with the highest GPAs and more friends were also the students who were the most grateful. The materialistic students, on the other hand, also were the least grateful, the most envious and least satisfied.
Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California-Davis also conducted a study which showed that counting blesses actually helps people feel better. Those who physically listed blessings each week had fewer health complaints, exercised more regularly and generally felt better.
Isn’t it great when the world finds God’s word is true! Several years ago I started a thankfulness journal. In my journal I would write what I was thankful for on a regular basis. The key to this type of journaling is to not be generic. Instead of saying, “I am thankful for my kids”. We need to be specific, “I am thankful that today Madi said thanks for her making her pancakes and sausage for breakfast.” Yes…that type of thing makes me really happy at 6:00 a.m.! Being thankful gets our mind rolling toward God’s greatest in our lives and away from the negativity that pulls down our joy.
Let’s do this with our students as well! At my RadRev Girls small group, I often start the group by asking each member what was the best thing that happened to them that day; the more specific the better! How about at the dinner table? When the standard line can tend to be, “She annoys me so bad!” try to direct your student to who they are thankful for! We never know; we might just raise our child’s GPA by getting them to look at the bright side?
What ways can you think of or do you already help thankfulness to spread at your house? We’d love to hear! Just click on comments below!
PS Do you have a friend who is struggling with a negative or depressed child? Forward her this e-mail! It might just help her to get started in the right direction!
(Information taken from Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2010 – “Thank You. No, Thank You.” by Melinda Beck