"A felt sense of wonder, thankfulness & appreciation for life" Robert Emmons

Gratitude is one of those things that we wish the teenagers of today showed more of. Often, as parents, we forget to express our own gratitude for the people and things we have in our lives that make it so special. Teens model their parent’s behaviour so start today with showing an attitude of gratitude and your teens will begin to as well!

Having an attitude of gratitude is reported to have one of the strongest links with mental health of any character trait. Numerous studies suggest that grateful people are more likely to have higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress and depression.

A recent study of 161 people published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that those who focus on what they have-not what they lack-fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. The study also found that grateful people are also less tired and more functional during the day.

And gratitude does a lot more for you than just helping you get a good night's sleep. Study after study has confirmed that people who practice an attitude of gratitude are likely to live longer, are happier people and enjoy better health.

Why bother being grateful?

Grateful people:
• have the capacity to be empathic and to take the perspective of others.
• build strong social bonds, strengthen existing relationships and nurture new ones
• place less importance on material goods; they are less likely to judge their own and others success in terms of possessions accumulated; they are less envious of wealthy persons.
• are more likely to share their possessions with others.
• are more likely to help others and display good moral behaviour
• have less feelings of bitterness, anger and greed
• cope better with stress and trauma
• feel more confident, have improved self-worth and self esteem.

How to practice gratitude
• Keep a gratitude journal: Once a week write down 3 to 5 things that you are grateful for - from the mundane to the magnificent.
• Express gratitude directly to another person - write a letter or visit them in person.
• Once a week at the dinner table share with your kids what you are grateful for and have them do the same.
• Embrace your loved ones with a full and open heart and hug them everyday.

Your call to action:
Choose one of the practices above and put it into action consistently for the next 4 weeks. Then watch your happiness levels soar. And then keep it up every week for the long term!

Reference Source: The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky

Author's Bio: 

Tracy Tresidder MEd, PCC is an ICF professionally certified coach. She specialises in working with parents and teens. Parents - learn how to assist your children to build lives of confidence, courage and compassion. Discover the seven simple steps to create a mutually loving and respectful relationship with your teenager. Go to www.coaching4teenagers.com.au to see the programs that are available now. Tracy is also the Director of Professional Standards for ICF Australasia and an ICF Assessor and Mentor Coach. Visit the website to see more of what she has to offer. www.tracytresidder.com Website