By Mary Brook
Around this time of year everyone is talking about the fast approaching holidays and how they need to hurry up and get ready to cook, shop or travel. But what we really need to do is slow down and be grateful for the opportunity to celebrate the season.
If we take the time to truly stop and think about what the holiday season means to us hopefully it will bring a sense of happiness and wellbeing. Being grateful doesn’t have to be only at Thanksgiving or Christmas, gratitude and appreciation should be a daily attitude.
Intentionally feeling grateful every day and demonstrating your thankfulness to others will change your life and this is how.
According to an article published in inc.com, Nov. 25, 2015, there are at least, 9 Powerful Ways Gratitude Can Change Your Life, improving your psychological wellbeing, sleeping better, creating a physical change in your health and feeling less stress are only a few of the many benefits.
By slowing down and showing our gratitude to others not only will change our lives but will make others feel more appreciated, loved and happy. Spending time with your family and friends and really being present in the moment can cultivate gratitude. When you are grateful it will reflect back at you in a smile, a kind word or even a hug.
Just because you say you are grateful does not mean you truly feel it or mean it. Being grateful takes practice. We live in a world where stopping and saying thank-you is a not a common occurrence. When was the last time you said thank-you to the grocery store cashier and called them by name? Or letting someone go in front of you in the check -out line. These little moments of thoughtfulness add up to a better perspective of life. So, in order to see improvements in your quality of life because of gratitude it takes time and thoughtfulness.
According to, Dr. Robert Emmons, Professor at The University of California at Davis and one of the leading scholars in the positive psychology movement, author of “Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier”: there are three stages of gratitude. Recognizing what we’re grateful for, acknowledging it, and appreciating it, Simple, right? And the benefits of practicing gratitude can be life altering.
In his book, Emmons states:
- People Who regularly practice grateful thinking can increase their “set-point” for happiness by as much as 25 percent.
- Such increases can be sustained over a period of months challenging the previously held notion to our “set-point” is frozen at birth.
- Keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks can result in better sleep and more energy.
So, during this busy holiday season remember to stop, breathe, put your cell phones aside and show your appreciation to your family and others around you. Your family will be happy, people around you will be happy and you will truly feel a sense of peace, calm and gratitude.