Being Thankful Makes Your Brain Grow
This evening at dinner two wonderful things happened. First, my wife was displaying vulnerableness to our children when apologizing for not being thankful lately. Secondly, my eldest son shared some wisdom with us that had a profound impact on me.
I have a strong belief that when adults make themselves vulnerable like this with children, they respect it and it can help their learning. I am thankful that my children are starting to understand that it is ok that we are all working towards being our best selves.
Being thankful is a choice, it is a way of looking at life that chooses to focus on what we have rather than what we wish we had. Learning from a young age that when we focus on what we do have and choosing thankfulness our default responses change.
One of the biggest challenges I have as a parent is helping my children to celebrate when good things happen to other people and to choose to be thankful.
That is why at dinner tonight when my son responded to my wife’s apology with the statement being thankful makes your brain grow, my heart rejoiced. This lead our conversation to how we could be more thankful and how good it would be if we could make our brains grow.
We also talked about what the opposite of being thankful may do to our brains. Now I am not a neuroscientist but from my own personal experience of living on Earth for 41 years I am fairly convinced that being thankful is a better way to approach life, regardless of the impact on the brain.
With this in mind, here are some things that I am thankful for today.
- It rained last night and we have water to drink
- I have people in my life who I love that reciprocate that love
- We have pet chooks
- I have a heater in my house that warms me up when I am cold
- My daughter makes me smile
- People who read my writing and find it helpful
- An encouraging text message from a friend
- My wife being honest
- The things I learn from my children
- People who inspire me
- Being able to connect with people on the other side of the world
- Dice Cricket
- Ugg boots
This is just a start and I am sure you have something that you could be thankful for today. You may want to write a list, you could tell someone in person or you may just want to think about it.
Give it a try, my son tells me that it makes your brain grow and I think I like his theory.
- By Matt Ellis