During this time of the year we all take time to pause and reflect on all that we are thankful. Whether the year has been filled with joys or pains, we all can dig deep to find something for which we can be grateful. As you gather with family and friends this holiday season encourage each other to celebrate each other and to celebrate life. Thankfulness, like most virtues, is contagious.
Thankfulness is a sense of appreciation for what a person has, both tangible and intangible. To practice thankfulness you must first become conscious of what you have for which to be thankful. Then comes a sense of appreciation for something you have, experiences or avoidance of a negative. Cultivating a spirit of thankfulness results in better physical and emotional health and an overall sense of well-being. Generally, people who are thankful are happier and are less likely to be depressed.
Learning to be thankful for what we have tends to make us less likely to compare ourselves with someone who has more than we do. This creates an ongoing, continuously thankful spirit that eliminates envy. Thankfulness also often creates feelings of peace and contentment with one’s life experiences and circumstances.
Parents, to help solidify the virtue of Thankfulness in your kids use the creative exercise below. This is a great activity to get their creative juices flowing and practice Thankfulness!
Select five things for which you are most thankful. Using the medium of your choice, create something that illustrates those items or experiences. Your artistic expression doesn’t have to be a perfect illustration. Rather, focus on the feelings of thankfulness and put those into your creation.
a) Write a story
b) Write a song/poetry
c) Make painting or drawing
d) Create a collage