Every semester at the Suzhou International Foreign Language School, in Suzhou, China, I do a lesson plan on gratitude. Because, most people take the things in their lives for granted. We don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone and that includes the people in our lives.
Psychologists, have discovered, that people who show their gratitude are much happier than those who do not express their gratitude. Because, it’s not happiness, that leads to gratitude, it’s gratitude that leads to happiness.
I like to tell my students, - "let the people in your life know how much you appreciate them. It will not only boost their self-esteem but it will also boost their overall respect for you."
When you give people a sincere compliment, words of encouragement or just a warm smile, you are making their world a better place. You are making them feel appreciated and valuable.
When you express your approval or gratitude for something others have done, you will not only enhance their life, but you will enrich yours as well. You will feel more fulfilled because you have done something to make life for someone else better.
I also tell my students here in Suzhou, China, that starting each day with a sense of gratitude will have a positive influence on the rest of their day.
Ending each day with a sense of gratitude will also bring us back to a place of appreciation no matter what happened during our day.
Gratitude is also a powerful affirmation it brings more of what we want into our life.
If we are grateful for the things we have we will attract more goodness into our life and into the lives of those around us.
Every semester, I tell my students, write down at least 3 things you are grateful for and share them with a trusted friend. I also ask them to keep a daily journal because a journal is a great way of bringing out on paper all the things we are thankful for.
It will be fun when looking back on your daily journal and reading what you wrote years from now. You will then be able to see how your ideas and attitudes mature and grow with time. A daily journal is also a great way in helping you express the things you cannot say to other people even your best friend.
Every day, try and tell others what you're grateful for and 'why.' The 'why' explanation is the most important part of showing your gratitude to others. This expression of gratefulness will leave you feeling a lot more lifted when it comes to your mood and attitude on life.
Be grateful even during the hard times, because, the difficult times in our lives can become opportunities for growth and understanding. Challenges can strengthen our minds and lead to greater maturity.
Face each difficulty that comes your way with renewed vigor. But, most of all, be grateful that you have the strength to face those difficulties head on.
Putting your gratitude into action is quite simple - a simple text message, email, or a nice phone call will accomplish your goal of letting others know that they are appreciated. A handwritten thank you note can also be a super cool surprise for those we care about in our technology dominant world.
- Always with love from Suzhou, China
Thomas F O’Neill
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