Start practicing this one habit with your family. You’ll be amazed at what happens.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, friends. The holidays are upon us. The seasons are changing. And while family gatherings will probably look different this year amid a pandemic, I think we are all breathing a sigh of relief to have a distraction from a very tough year.
While Christmas shopping, hot chocolate-drinking, and Thanksgiving planning are happy activities, for many, this time of year can bring on unwanted feelings of depression and anxiety.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is estimated to affect nearly 10 million Americans. SAD is a seasonal depression that can be caused by a lack of sunlight in the winter months. In addition, family tensions can run high during the holiday as well as pressure to create the picture-perfect holiday season for your kids and loved ones. All of this together can very understandably lead to depression during what is supposed to be a joyous season.
One of the best things you can do to fight off depression and anxiety is to focus on gratitude. This has been proven by multiple scientific studies. One study found that spending five minutes a day writing down what you are thankful for has been proven to increase happiness levels by 10%. Another study found a 35% decrease in depressive symptoms in people who practiced gratitude.
What better time to practice gratitude than the Thanksgiving season?
Because of this, I’ve created “Dr. Meg’s 14 Day Family Gratitude Challenge.” This downloadable PDF provides 14 days of gratitude prompts that your entire family can do. Practicing gratitude as a family is incredibly important if you want your kids to be raised with gratitude as a value.
Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to our kids. This is why we have to teach our children to say thank you. They aren’t going to do it on their own.
This isn’t your child’s fault. It’s simply how children develop. We are wired to be egocentric, especially when we’re young. To children, it feels like the world revolves around them. Their needs are what they think of, not others’, so they don’t think to be grateful for what they have.