An Attitude of Gratitude During and After the Holiday Season
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Thanksgiving just passed and we are in the holiday season? Why is gratitude so important this time of year? Why do we not practice it year round? Is there a reason why we forget to practice gratitude when we are facing hardships vsersus when something good happens to us? Sometimes the idea of giving thanks and gratitude can feel pointless or meaningless but is important for our mental health and for our soul to feel at peace.
Start by setting aside some time in the morning or at night before you go to bed. If you believe in God (or follow a specific religion or a higher power in general), it might feel easier or more natural to include your practice of gratitude in your prayers. Set a goal for yourself to set aside a few moments either once a day, once a week or even just once a month to be thankful for all of your blessings. Take this time to write down everything you are thankful for.
Maybe you want to write a letter to loved ones to let them know how much you appreciate them? Maybe you want to write a letter to your children to thank them for inspiring you and for motivating you to be the best parent you can be? If something positive happens to you at work such as a promotion or even just a compliment from your boss, take the time to write it down and live in that moment. Sometimes we just need to write a letter to ourselves to remind ourselves how much we appreciate ourselves for being alive, for being strong and for being determined through good times and bad times. Use this time to self reflect on everything good and positive that you are grateful for in your life. Even if you think there is nothing to feel grateful for…if you take a moment to think about it you will find something. Sometimes just the simple fact of being alive today is all the reminder we need to keep going, to keep being thankful, and to appreciate how far we’ve come. Gratitude journaling is very important because it works to gradually alter our perception of life’s situations and helps us adjust our focus into something positive. When you journal, practice being very specific with regard to what you are expressing gratitude for. For example,
“I am thankful for my mother” is not as impactful as… “My mother helped watch the kids today so I could take a few moments to myself to accomplish _______” or rather than saying, “I am grateful for my job” try saying… “I have a good secure job which allows me to be myself, use my skills, challenges me, provides an income to pay my bills, gives me an opportunity to feel accomplished, allows room for professional growth and promotions etc…”.
The more specific you are, the more impactful gratitude journaling will become for your mental state. It’s also important to practice expressing gratitude to others in your life. You have nothing to lose in the process. You will start to feel good about yourself, and others will also feel good around you. Spreading positivity can only increase the level of positivity in your own life. Set forth a goal to practice noticing new things each day—it WILL change the projection of your life—to one more positive, enriching, fulfilling and happy.
We wish you great success on your happiness journey! We’re rooting for you! Happy Holidays!