For anyone raising teenagers, the idea of helping them feel grateful for everyday things may seem like a long shot; just getting them to mumble a "thank you" every now and then can be a monumental accomplishment.
But a new study suggests that helping teens learn to count their blessings can actually play an important role in positive mental health. As gratitude increases, so do life satisfaction, happiness, positive attitudes, hope and even academic performance.
Giacomo Bono, study author and a professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, said it seems there's not much time these days for teens to pause and consider their appreciation of their friendships, activities they enjoy or even the food on the table.
But among those kids who say they feel grateful for a variety of things in their lives, Bono found an association with critical life skills such as cooperation, a sense of purpose, creativity and persistence.