Positive Psychology

World Gratitude Day – Friday September 21

“Positive Psychology” focuses on the things that make people mentally healthy. One of the foundational principles that has been scientifically proven to give people a “rich, full and meaningful” life, is to approach everything with an attitude of thankfulness.

This Friday is World Gratitude Day. The idea is that it’s a day to show appreciation for everything, from the basics of food to the larger gifts of relationships and support, and everything in between. I find it interesting that even non-Christian science can see the value in being thankful – they’ve hit on an idea that believers have known forever!

Next week our Year 12 students will be graduating. One of the reasons I think the ceremony and the special events that go along with this milestone are so valuable is that they cultivate an attitude of reflection. This reflection so often leads to heartfelt expressions of thankfulness for all the support and effort that teachers and parents have given our students over their 13 years of schooling. No wonder there are so many tears of joy shed on this day!

Do you have regular practices or family rituals that lead you to express your gratitude to someone? In my life, it’s typically been those kinds of events when you need to write a card to someone that I stop and reflect on my thankfulness for their presence in my life.

Let me encourage you this week to find ways to express your gratitude for the things that have been added to your life by others. Find time to send a card to someone who has contributed to your life over the years. Make eye contact and really smile when someone helps you in a shop, not just utter a reflexive “thanks”. Stop and chat over the fence to thank your neighbour for the little ways they look after your family. Encourage your child to think of how their teachers have contributed positively to their lives, and get them to write a little note.

How different our lives would be if we lived with attitudes of gratitude deliberately all the time.