The science is clear. There is no doubt that cultivating gratitude in your life can have a positive impact in many ways. According to years of research, studies show that practicing gratitude consistently in your life can make you 25% happier.
The theme this year for Dalat was chosen specifically to encourage our students and us as a community to get out of the proverbial holding pattern that this pandemic has put us in. We know the pandemic will end, but we simply cannot wait and keep our lives on hold until then. So, in light of this reality, our theme this year is “It’s GROW Time.” The word “GROW” is an acronym that stands for Grateful, Resilient, Optimistic, and Willing. The theme is stated as a challenge for us to not wait and to actually use this time to grow.
The first idea we are looking at with our theme is that of gratitude. It is actually a very powerful tool to help our students tackle the social and emotional challenges that this pandemic is throwing at them. We will take a number of weeks to unpack what gratitude can do for us and how it can have not just a positive impact during the pandemic, but throughout our entire lives.
The science is clear. There is no doubt that cultivating gratitude in your life can have a positive impact in many ways. According to years of research, studies show that practicing gratitude consistently in your life can make you 25% happier. In terms that our students can relate to, that is the difference between an “A+” life and a “C” life. The amazing thing is that gratitude has so many other benefits for those who intentionally practice it:
- Stronger immune system
- Lower blood pressure
- Better sleep at night
- Less stress and anxiety
- Higher levels of positive emotions
- More joy and optimism
- Less loneliness and feelings of isolation
The crazy thing is that the list of benefits is much longer than this. There is, however, one more really important reason for us to cultivate gratitude in ourselves and our kids and that is because it is a key life skill to help us deal with the challenges and hardships of this pandemic. Once again the science is clear, the more we encourage gratitude in our lives, the better we will able to handle this pandemic and all it throws at us (additional reading).
Next week we will look more at what gratitude is and how we can start to increase it in the lives of our kids.
Written by Karl Steinkamp
Recent Reflection Articles
Gratitude, though, does not mean you are pretending everything is okay and living in denial. Instead, gratitude is choosing to focus on appreciating your life as it is right now.
As we continue to live life through this historic pandemic, we all face anxiety and uncertainty and need to remind each other that growth is still possible—this is especially important for our students.