At this time of year, we are bombarded with the word “Gratitude.” Faux-rustic signs, t-shirts, and television commercials all remind us to count our blessings and be grateful, grateful, grateful. It’s easy to tune those messages out, but gratitude is essential. As we enter this season of holiday obligations, we can find ourselves more stressed and emotional than usual and focussing on the things we are thankful for can help offset these feelings.
So often we head off to holiday gatherings with the best of intentions, idealizing and romanticizing our loved ones, but then Mary’s new boyfriend has a few too many or Uncle Joey picks a political fight with someone he knows doesn’t share his views…you get the picture. Life is seldom as perfect as we imagine it to be. We can use gratitude practice to help us beat these stressful holiday moments. Gratitude means focusing on the good in each person we love. Even the most difficult people have redeeming qualities.
Gratitude has physical benefits; it is actually good for us!
Research shows that when we are able to identify and focus on feelings of sincere gratitude, we experience benefits including better health, improved sleep, and increased feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Start each day this holiday season by writing in a journal or just sitting quietly and making a mental list of the things you are grateful for. Begin with the things that are most important to you, such as your family, your friends, your job, your health, and your home. Notice and express gratitude for those things that you might not even think of as privileges, such as your abilities to walk, hear, see, and more. Remember that there are people who would sacrifice anything to gain that which you might take for granted.
I wish you a blessed and beautiful Holiday season.
For more tips on creating your most Vibrant Life, pick up your copy of The Vibrant Living Project today, it makes a perfect holiday gift too!