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Tips for Raising an Optimistic Child in a World of Pessimism

If doom and gloom seem to be the order of the day in a world where your children are constantly exposed to negativity, there are several positive things you can do to give the kiddos a better outlook on life, according to CNN Health. They include teaching them to put things in perspective, expressing gratitude for the good things in life, fighting fake news by doing your own fact-checking, standing up to cyberbullies, stamping out hate speech and just tuning out for a while.

Of all these ideas, I believe that learning to express gratitude is one of the best ways to improve not just your outlook on life, but your overall health and well-being. Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness; when you feel gratitude, you affirm that you live in a benevolent world. It’s also a recognition that the source of this goodness comes from outside of yourself.

People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions and less anxiety, sleep better and have better heart health. Studies have linked gratitude to improved sleep, reduced stress, enhanced well-being, improved heart health, and reducing the likelihood of sudden death in patients with heart disease.

Your sense of gratitude can be strengthened with practice. Ways to cultivate gratitude include keeping a gratitude journal, prayer, meditation, writing thank you notes and non-verbal actions like smiling and hugging.

Even generally happy people do not experience joy 24 hours a day. But, a happy person can have a bad day and still find pleasure in the small things in life. So, by being thankful for what you have and focusing on what's good in the present moment beyond what you hear or see on the news, you become more open to receive greater abundance in the future. Remember to say "thank you" — to yourself, the universe and others.
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