Are You Exercising Your Gratitude Muscle?

Fordland ClinicNews

Gratitude a muscle we need to exerciseDifficult times these days can be challenging to our entire families. It’s more important than ever to have a plan that helps encourage us to see things in our lives that we’re thankful for. When we are feeling happy, it tends to lead us to feel thankful for things around us. But we don’t have to wait until we feel happy in order to feel grateful. A deeper feeling of gratitude can lead to deeper feelings of happiness. When we learn to have a deeper feeling of gratitude it not only can make us happier, but can help improve our health and self-esteem, and it may even help with getting a better night’s sleep.

Gratitude is like other muscles; it needs exercise to make it grow strong. The good news is that gratitude is easily taught. As adults we need not forget that we are our children’s best example. So, we need to remember to lead by example daily.

  • When you first wake in the morning start your day off with a thankful thought that will help your day be more of a positive one.
  • Make it a habit for the whole family to have “gratitude moments”. When the day is finally slowing down take a few minutes and let everyone express what in the day they were grateful for.
  • Make sure your children see and hear you showing your appreciation and gratitude towards others. It’s not only good manners, but you’re also setting an example for your children.
  • People can also show gratitude nonverbally. Make up a special secret family handshake or hug to use when actions, not words, are preferred.
  • It’s never to early to teach your children a “thank you note” habit. If your children are too young, they can tell you what they want to say in a thank you note or email, or they could draw a picture.
  • Some days are harder than others. Try a change of scenery to help make your day feel brighter and more peaceful. A walk outside is full of relaxing senses: blue sky, flowers, sound of birds chirping, just seeing a friendly neighbor can bring happiness to your daily life.

Life can be hard, but it also can be wonderful if we learn to exercise our Gratitude Muscle daily. Feeling grateful can make us feel healthier and happier. Teri Griffith and Drew Tolleson, our Behavioral Health Consultants, are here to help you find ways to be happier in your health and more grateful in your everyday life. They will work alongside your provider to consider the physical, behavioral, and emotional aspects of your health concerns.