Holiday success is the motivation for many of us at this time of year. Amazingly, an attitude gone right can completely transform our experiences, our lives, and the lives of the people we love.
December is here—ready or not! Many of us have a vision of what the holidays should look like…maybe snow packed up against the white picket fence, smoke ambling from a chimney atop a house with candles in the windows and warm light glowing in the background. Or maybe it is family and friends inside gathered around the menorah. Or celebrating Las Posadas with a piñata party. However you ring in the season, you probably have an idea of what the “perfect” picture would be.
And trying to make things picture perfect puts an awful lot of stress on us. Don’t get me wrong, our hearts are usually in the right place when the season begins. Then the to-do list grows as a guest confesses that making the pie is just too difficult for them, one of our children gets sick, or we find ourselves lonely in the midst of the bustle all around us. These are the times when it can be easy to feel frazzled, or sad, or just plain overwhelmed. And then everything starts to feel less fun. Studies show us that one way to turn this stressful time around is to employ gratitude.
Gratitude is more than just saying thanks. Gratitude is a way of embracing the world! It is an exercise. When we train ourselves to be grateful we change pathways in our brain and gain emotional strength. Check out these five astounding benefits!
- We create a healthier body and heart.
- We gain strength in overcoming adversity.
- We become happier and more satisfied.
- We find ourselves with a more optimistic outlook on life.
- We become more generous and forgiving, which builds better relationships.
Build a strong gratitude attitude with these three exercises—
- Appreciate everything, even the smallest blessings in life.
- Spend time with family and friends. Be mindful to find three traits you love about them.
- Write a letter to someone expressing why you are grateful for them.
Gratitude and happiness are locked together. You can’t have one without the other!