One of my biggest pet peeves is constant complaining. Be it about lack of money, the weather, work load, etc. I find it draining to be surrounded by people who constantly focus on the negative.
There’s more to life than the challenges we may be facing on a day to day basis. If you’re constantly waiting for things to get better, for this or that challenge to come to pass before you start enjoying your life, so many wonderful things will pass by you unnoticed.
I recently read an article on how to teach your children gratitude and it got me thinking. If you make a mental effort to look on the positive side of life, to see the glass as half full instead of half empty, you will be happier.
The trickledown effect of that is also true. When your child sees you being grateful for everything in your life, big or small, they emulate you and develop this more positive attitude.
According to Dr Karen Latimer, practicing gratitude will make you happier and consequently, you will be healthier. Remember stress can cause or aggravate certain illnesses like hypertension.
It doesn’t stop at that. One way I’m teaching my daughter to appreciate what she has is by teaching her to give back. She’s a pre-schooler so I can’t expect her to go out and volunteer at a home, for instance. But, I have taught her that there are people who lack the basic things like food and clothing. So when she outgrows her clothing, for example, she has learned that we can give them to other children to enjoy. When she doesn’t finish the food on her plate, I remind her that there are many children out there who don’t have food to eat so she should try to eat up. When we pass beggars on the street, she asks for a coin to give them.
I think these little habits, when instilled from a young age, will help our children grow into adults who always look on the bright side of life instead of adults who are constantly complaining. They will therefore be happier and better placed to handle the challenges life will throw at them.
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