Second, start a daily exercise in which whining children (or parents) write down things they are thankful for. Researchers have found that the simple act of keeping a “gratitude journal” increases happiness and wellbeing. When we have to stop and think about what we are grateful for, and write it down daily, we reduce the tendency to take our things, talents, and friendships for granted. We appreciate the good in our lives more deeply.
Third, encourage humility. Robert Emmons, one of the premier researchers on happiness and gratitude, emphasizes that it’s not enough to be grateful, in the abstract, for the good things in our lives. We need to be grateful to someone. We need to look outside ourselves—and acknowledge our dependency on others – particularly God - for the source of the goodness in our lives.
Make it a daily practice to thank God for his goodness and blessings, and to thank those around us for their kindness, generosity and friendship.
And on this Thanksgiving, let’s begin our feast with a humble acknowledgement of the good in our lives and a vow that we will always remember that all good flows from the hands of the One who created us – and that He is worthy of our thanks and praise.