Did you know that thankful people are happier? Scientists have done studies on gratitude, the feeling of being thankful. They found that people who take time to count their blessings are happier. And as Christians, we know that our hope and happiness come from Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
It’s nice to spend Thanksgiving Day counting your blessings and thinking about everything God has given you. But it’s important to build up gratitude all year long. When you take time to give thanks, you’re like a smart squirrel who stores up food for the winter. Take this quiz to find out how many “acorns of thanks” you keep in your squirrel nest.
Count Your Acorns
Take this quiz to find out how many "acorns of thanks" you keep in your squirrel nest.
I thank God for the blessings in my life...
When it comes to my physical health, I...
When I think about other kids my age, I think...
I thank God that I have basics like food, clothes and shelter…
I don’t have everything I want, but I am thankful for what I have.
When I hear about kids who don’t have as much as I do, I…
When someone points out that I’m not acting grateful, I think…
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To feel happier, try to build up more gratitude. Sponsored children thank God for what little they have, and you can follow their example! Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, thank God for what you do have. Write a hopeful Bible verse to the child you sponsor to remind him or her that you care.
You sometimes feel thankful
for all you have. If you want
to feel happier, remind
yourself to focus on gratitude
more. How? Each time you
catch yourself thinking about
things you don’t have, pause
and shift your thoughts to
things you do have. Keeping a
gratitude journal and praying
are great ways to do this.
You forget to count your blessings sometimes, but you usually feel thankful. When you think about people in need, like the child you sponsor, it usually makes you feel grateful for all you have. One way to stay focused on your blessings even in hard times is to pray. At least once a day, thank God for people you love, your home and other blessings.
You’re a very grateful squirrel — er, kid. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, you almost always focus on what you do have. When you think of people in need, like the child you sponsor, you realize that your life could be harder. You thank God often. Because of your thankfulness, you are probably healthier and happier than many people.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Every day write down three good things that happened. Learn to make your own mini gratitude journal here!
- Use your imagination. Picture how life would be without your favorite people and things. How would it feel? Think about kids who are so poor they hardly have anything. Then compare your life with theirs.
- Write a note of thanks. Think of people who have done nice things for you or given you something special. Write them a note telling why they are important to you and that you feel thankful for them. Then send or hand them the note.
- Pause the pleasure. Giving up something you enjoy for a period of time will make you more thankful for it. For example, go without your favorite drink or food for a month. Or give up TV for a week.
- Take a sense walk. Invite a family member to go on a walk to appreciate your senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. When you see something beautiful, thank God that you can see it. Take a snack, and when you eat it, thank God for your sense of taste.