Want More Calm During the Holidays? Embrace Gratitude
We’ve just passed Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The holidays are here – Hanukkah and Advent both started on Sunday, Christmas, Kwanza and the Winter Solstice all happen this month. It’s a busy time. And hopefully a joyous time as well.
I want to acknowledge that December can also be a time of overwhelm and anxiety. It’s hard to ignore the constant barrage of emails and Instagram ads encouraging you to shop and buy, it can be exhausting.
It’s times like this that taking a pause – even five minutes a few times a day – to get grounded, breathe and drop your shoulders back down from your ears, can make a big difference. And, focusing on what you’re grateful for helps immensely to both calm and ground you.
If you’re thinking “gratitude’s not going to help” or “are you kidding, I can’t add another thing into my day” stick with me for just a minute.
Gratitude lets you find the good — even when things are the most overwhelming.
Gratitude helps build your capacity so you can deal with overwhelm, conflicts and stress.
Capacity is the ability to deal with stress without spinning out of control or going into fight or flight mode. It helps you lower your stress hormones and other physical reactions that are bad for your heart, brain and psyche. Capacity helps you feel calm. And that helps you get a lot more done with more ease and joy.
The good news is that practicing gratitude doesn’t have to take long and it feels great to even do a little bit. Many practices take a few minutes or less — and can be woven right into your day. And even a small dose of gratitude, can make you feel better and have a profound effect on your outlook and level of stress.
And beyond greater capacity, there are many benefits of gratitude. Here are some big ones:
- Gratitude helps us get along better with others.
- It allows us to recover more quickly from depressed moods.
- It helps us to deal with stress.
- It helps us achieve more, have more positive emotions, feel more alert and alive, and increases our feelings of joy and pleasure.
And that’s not all, gratitude has effects on our physical health like better sleep and lower blood pressure. And people who have more gratitude in their lives tend to be less lonely and more connected.
What are you grateful for? Say it out loud, really feel and acknowledge the good. Do it again. How does that feel?
7 Days of Gratitude
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Hi, I’m Melanie!
I’m a Journaling and Joy Coach and I believe your story is the key to the life you want.
I guide my clients through intentional processes to find the answers waiting for you in your stories, bringing compassion, deep listening — and fun — to the process.
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