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Use Gratitude Exercise to Boost Family's Morale

11/28/2011 10:30 am 10:30:22 | Updated Jan 28, 2012

With so much negativity in the world it's easy for a family to lose its way. Let's face it we live in a world that is mostly negative. At least once a month my family devotes 20 minutes to a family meeting where we do a gratitude exercise or what we call "Gratitude on Demand." This is what I do to get my family focused on the positive and on what is working in our lives and how we are succeeding as individuals and as a family.

This 'gratitude round table' family time each month keeps us grateful and playing as a team. Each family member sits down and we each share those things for which we are grateful. Once everyone has contributed, we do a second round and then a third and fourth round until everyone is uplifted, motivated and communicating. Even the 2-year-old participates and while the 2-month-old only adds baby noises, we are certain she is flowing to the cause.

During the gratitude exercise there are no interruptions, no input or editing from other members while one is sharing. We just let the gratitude rip and flow.

Studies suggest that a grateful person exudes a different demeanor, glow and attitude about life. Some marriage studies show a marriage focused on gratitude is five times more likely to succeed. Grateful people appear to be less susceptible to experience counter-productive emotional states like envy, anger, resentment, and regret.

The family is a team or a unit and as a group it is more powerful than just one of its individuals. As they say the sum of the whole is always greater than just its individual parts. A grateful family, then, should produce exponentially greater success for all of its members.

How to have a Gratitude Exercise with Your Family:
1) Meet as a family at least once a month
2) Each person shares what they are grateful for with no interruptions
3) Another round of sharing at a deeper level
4) Last round of sharing, including anything previously omitted and any decisions made as a result.

Be sure to use multiple rounds to allow family members to recognize where they are really winning. The goal of the multiple rounds is to get the individuals communicating in terms of ALL the critical parts of one's life; spiritual, emotional, familial, communal, financial, mental and physical, not just on one area of their lives.

My family loves our "Gratitude on Demand" meetings and I know it brings us closer as a family and makes us more powerful as individuals and a team! Like anything else, the family unit is only going to be as powerful as you give attention to it!

Let's face it, if the family never takes the time to acknowledge what it has to be grateful for, it will spend most of its time merely suffering the negative blows delivered by the rest of the world. A little gratitude meeting once or twice a month can go along way toward bringing the family together, lifting its spirits and keeping its attention on the positive.

My observations about grateful people:
1) They have better attitudes
2) They get better results
3) They tend to have other winners around them.

I believe grateful people tend to do better in life because they have more of their attention on the positive things in life than on the negative. I would love to see your comments at the link below when you try this with your family.