CHERISH - Improve happiness

September 30, 2015

 

Cherish is one of The 12 Cs: 12 essential life tools helping children thrive.  In my book, The Adventures of Ooga and Zeeta, and my Life Tools Workshop I define Cherish as…To feel thankful and grateful.  To focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have.  Being mindful.  To focus on “can do it” vs. “have to do it.”

 

I included Cherish as one of The 12 Cs because I believe it is necessary to maximize our happiness and it's free and easy to do once one becomes aware of its power.

Scientific research suggests having an attitude of gratitude has a lot of benefits on the quality of one’s life.  One of the major benefits of gratitude is improved self-esteem which is one of the important ingredients for having a fulfilled, satisfied and happy life.  People who don't appreciate what they have or compare themselves to others have a increased probability for a low self-esteem.  Instead of becoming resentful toward people who have more toys, better grades, etc., people who have an attitude of gratitude are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments and be happy for them without it making them feel less than.  When you cherish what you have you are less likely to compare yourself to others because you are appreciative of what you have.

 

Below are a few ways to improve your attitude of gratitude:

 

Mindfulness:

Pay attention to the present moment.  This will help you appreciate the little things in life that you may miss because you are thinking about what's next.

 

Wants vs. Needs:

Recognize there is a difference between wants and needs. This will help you appreciate all the “wants” you actually have in life.

  • Needs are things that are required. For example: Food, clothing, shelter.

  • Wants are things that are not necessary but we wish for. For example: Blue sweater, smoothie.

I can do vs. I Have to do:

Have you ever complained that you don’t want to go to soccer, get your teeth cleaned or other activities you don’t feel like doing?

  • By thinking “I can do” it will help you appreciate that this activity is an opportunity vs. a chore.  This awareness will help you feel more positive toward the activity.

Activities to improve your attitude for gratitude:

  • Spend a few minutes a day thinking about the good things in your life.

  • If you hear your negative self-talk, stop and change to think about something positive in your life.

  • Create a Cherish Journal and write or draw what you are grateful for at least two times per week - writing helps organize your thoughts and makes you aware and mindful of what you have.

For more information on my book The Adventures of Ooga and Zeeta and my Life Skills for Kids Workshop, please visit www.character-u.com.  If you like this post, please share...thank you!

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