Making my gratitude list is simple this Thanksgiving Day. Simple, but important. For years we have heard how gratitude improves our health, relationships, even our careers; apparently there is little that can’t be made better with intentional thanks. Oprah tells us: “Being grateful is by far the single most powerful thing you can do to change your life.” Not surprising, Huffington Post claims that teaching our children gratitude in school will help them become happier too. A new study proposes starting with elementary students by using a pioneering curriculum:
First, children learned about the three types of appraisals that make us feel grateful:
- That someone has intentionally done something to benefit us
- That providing this benefit was costly to them
- That the benefit is valuable to us
After the five-week course “children showed steady increases in grateful thinking, gratitude, and positive emotions… The researchers found that those who were more likely to feel grateful to others also scored higher on academic interest, grades, and extracurricular involvement.” Well, what’s good for kids is good for the rest of us, right? Perhaps we can all take a moment to acknowledge those who give generously to us. Today, I am moved to do just that.