Now, keep up to date
with daily feeds of newly posted stories
about America's Seniors...click on the box
Tough Economic Times can mean a more
Newswise, November 22, 2010 — Gratitude is a
key to positive mental health,and, financial
distress can actually help people be more
thankful for relationships and people and
non-material things says Samuel T. Gladding,
professor of counseling at Wake Forest
University and an expert on families.
“I think many families will be staying home
this holiday season—some with anxiety,
others with hope, but the majority with
gratitude for what they have. We are not so
different in 2010 from 1930 during the Great
Depression,” Gladding says.
are struggling financially, it is
heartwarming to focus on what we value more,
which is human relationships and moments
that don’t have a monetary value,” says
Gladding, who is the author of several books
on family counseling.
between Halloween and Christmas,
Thanksgiving has, for the most part, avoided
the consumerism of other holidays. Instead
of centering on gifts, it is a time set
aside for family, friends and the shared
experience of making and eating a meal.
offers several suggestions for how to foster
gratitude and build family connections at
•Take time to
reflect on what has gone right with your
Whether you are a religious or non-religious
person, tell stories that reflect the good
generational ties by asking older members of
the family to describe how they got through
hard times. Experience with resilience can
be educational and inspirational to younger
conversations with kids about what they are
most thankful for other than their
ritual or start a new one.
•Try to avoid
cynicism and anger even if you have lost a
job or are facing financial uncertainty.
time and talents to others by reaching out
and including them or helping them in some
of the family is different now—more single
parents, blended families and distant
extended families, Gladding says. But,
nearly 80 years after the Depression, we
find ourselves where we were—being grateful
for the essentials.