Being Thankful

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At some point in our lives, we learn about the history behind the Thanksgiving holiday. We learn about who was involved and, of course, all about the feast.  What should the holiday represent in today’s society?  We are taught to give thanks during this time but do we really understand the benefits of being thankful, or even being thanked by others?  As the busy holiday season approaches and family schedules become hectic, many of us get caught up in all of the expectations.  Sadly, we lose sight of what is really important.  Understanding the benefits of being thankful may have you wanting to pause and take a step back this year, be genuinely grateful for your surroundings, and show your gratitude.

Being Thankful is Beneficial

Being thankful can have a variety of positive outcomes.  Studies have shown it helps physical health by improving heart health and providing more sleep.  It can help mental health by making a person more optimistic, improving self-esteem, reducing aggression, and can help create new relationships. Thankfulness creates a positive emotional state that increases one’s sense of well-being.  The person receiving the thanks receives all types of benefits as well. They will feel higher levels of self worth and feel more socially valued just by hearing the words “thank you.”  This also generates a desire to help that person as well as others around them.  Imagine how far all of this appreciation and gratitude can go- beginning at the dinner table and stretching out into the surrounding community.

Teaching Your Children How to be Thankful

As parents of young children, you want to pass along these positive qualities of thankfulness, appreciation, and gratitude at an early age.  A wonderful way to discuss the significance of being thankful with your young children is through books and stories. The Children’s Book Review suggests several books which are great reads for children as well as their parents.  These books include Gratitude Soup by Olivia Rosewood, The Thankful Book by Todd Parr, An Awesome Book of Thanks by Dallas Clayton, and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  Each of these books touch on the qualities of appreciation, thankfulness, and gratefulness.

The Compass School wishes everyone a happy holiday season!