Some of us look at life as full of possibility. We expect the best to happen, and generally see the positive. Other people believe that bad news is always just around the corner. We shouldn’t get our hopes up because we will inevitably be disappointed, therefore always expect the worst.
What is the difference between these types of people? Perspective. When we look at the glass as half full, we appreciate what IS, rather than focusing on what may NOT be. Gratitude works the same way. To have gratitude means to be thankful. It means appreciating the little things as much as the big things, and trying to focus on the light rather than the darkness. So where does gratitude fit into the conversation about anxiety? Resolving worries is ultimately about shifting perspective. Creating an attitude of gratitude primes us to look at a situation and see what is good. Through this lens, change seems possible, and can rescue us from feeling stuck or hopeless.
Fortunately, there are many simple ways to show our children how to express gratitude. Everyone at your dinner table can share one thing they are thankful for. This can become a weekly ritual. You can create a gratitude jar where everyone in the family writes down one thing per day, big or small, that they are grateful for and puts it in the jar. Then each person takes a slip of paper from the jar and shares it. By creating this kind of environment, you are teaching children to recognize good things exist, even when they may not feel that way.
Being gracious means being open to the positive the world has to offer. It means looking at yourself and seeing what you have and who you are and being thankful. Developing an attitude of gratitude can help us all smile more and worry less.