Gratitude may be our family’s theme for 2014. I am reading a book on thanksgiving and inner peace, and these studies are all over the news. As someone who struggles with both postpartum and seasonal depressive tendencies, I’d like to try being much more intentional about giving thanks to fortify myself in joy and gratitude, before negative thought patterns take hold. The attitude of gratitude seems to rub off on kids as well. From the article linked above:
The mere act of giving thanks has tangible benefits, research suggests. A 2008 study of 221 kids published in the Journal of School Psychology analyzed sixth- and seventh-graders assigned to list five things they were grateful for every day for two weeks. It found they had a better outlook on school and greater life satisfaction three weeks later, compared with kids assigned to list five hassles.
Another study examined 1,035 high-school students outside New York City. The study, published in 2010 in the Journal of Happiness Studies, found that those who showed high levels of gratitude, for instance thankfulness for the beauty of nature and strong appreciation of other people, reported having stronger GPAs, less depression and envy and a more positive outlook than less grateful teens.
Speaking of gratitude, I am NOT thankful that Julian Fellowes killed Matthew on Downton Abbey last February (couldn’t he have left without such a tragic death?). I vowed that I was finished with that emotionally-manipulative soap opera for good. Apparently British TV kills main characters all the time; well my American skin isn’t thick enough for all that. But rumor has it that Season 4 starts on Sunday. To Downton or not to Downton?