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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Joy to the world! Peace on earth! Happy holidays! Or is it? This is one of the most stressful times of the year for many. Family time, travel, gifts to buy, meals to prepare, etc. We want this time of the year to be merry and bright for our family and friends. Feeling overwhelmed is an under-statement.

Kick off December by giving yourself the gift of a wholistic approach to survive the holiday season.


Day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas: Best Ways to Practice Gratitude This Holiday Season


Survival Tip #10 Joy to the World!


'Tis the season to be jolly and to celebrate all of the wonderful things in life. Focusing on the positive can make a big difference in whether or not your holiday season will be merry and bright... or not.


The Power of Gratitude

Practicing gratitude will improve your brain health! Being grateful can lead to significant changes in your brain! When you practice gratitude it helps to calm the deep limbic areas in the brain. (https://www.amenclinics.com/blog/limbic-system-caring-brains-limbic-system/). When you express gratitude on a daily basis you are more likely to be healthy, more optimistic, reach your goals, and enjoy a greater sense of well-being. Gratitude is a wonderful gift to give yourself and others this holiday season.


What does it mean to live in a state of gratitude? It means having an attitude of gratitude regardless of the circumstances. Consider practicing the following to help you stay in an attitude of gratitude during the holiday season.


Ways to Practice Gratitude During the Holidays:

1. Compliment Others

Practice a positive outlook on life during the holidays by finding something good and kind to say to family, friends, coworkers and even strangers. Complimenting another may give them the opportunity to improve their outlook (on their day or life). It's a beautiful gift to give another human being. Often, the giver of the compliment ends up feeling just as wonderful as the one receiving the compliment. It is the season of giving... give the gift of loving kindness to others.

2. Be Mindful

Here is the opportunity to give the gift of being more mindful of those around you. Make the genuine effort to be in the moment with those around you; whether they be family, friends, co-workers or even strangers. Most people appreciate when they feel you are truly listening and being present in the moment with them.

3. Show Appreciation

Make every effort to express gratitude for a favor, gift or kind word. It's a beautiful gift to recognize the little things and to show appreciation to those who matter most in your life. Consider writing a simple note of thanks. In today's world, often times a text goes a long way in showing appreciation.

4. Volunteer

Consider volunteering during the holidays. Giving the gift of our time can be extremely gratifying and can even alleviate stress. By helping others, we often become aware of how blessed we are in our own lives leading to our feeling more grateful. It can also allows us the opportunity to understand some of the struggles that others face each day.

5. Count Your Blessings

Remember the "Blessings Journal"? Remember to keep it up during the holidays. It's a great way to deal with the challenges and stressors of the season. Writing in your journal will help you stay in a grateful state of mind by writing down our blessings and those things for which we are grateful. This exercise takes only a few minutes at the end or start of each day.

6. Be Generous

Giving to others in need creates feelings of joy! There are countless way to give; donating money, volunteering time with the sick or elderly, or donating toys to children in poverty. When you invest in another, not only do you make a difference to them, but also in your own life. Giving can create feelings of fulfillment and joy!


Stay tuned for Day 11!


References:


Rowe, Keith. “How to Practice Gratitude and Have Joy This Holiday Season.” BrainMD Blog, 16 Nov. 2018, https://brainmd.com/blog/best-ways-to-practice-gratitude-this-holiday-season/.





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