Millions of Americans will celebrate this holiday season like all of those that came before the beginning of the pandemic, while millions more will attempt to create new “safe” traditions that follow the continuing constraints and a personal sense of accountability to the most vulnerable in our country.
Regardless of how we choose to celebrate the holidays, we can undoubtedly find common ground in the stress of it all. So how do we find our own ”tiding of comfort and joy” this holiday season?
Research shows that a sense of gratitude is consistently associated with happiness, and the science of positive psychology is at the forefront of that research. So what is positive psychology?
In short, it’s the science of happiness – focusing on the effects of positive experiences (i.e., love, hope, joy), positive states and traits (i.e., gratitude, compassion, resilience), and the practice of positive principles at an institutional level.
If that sounds a bit too “Pollyanna” for your sensibilities, then consider the teachings of one Ebenezer Scrooge, who did a fine job demonstrating the monumental impact that gratitude (or the lack thereof) has on our past, present and future.
So how can we actively cultivate gratitude this holiday season (and hopefully, beyond)?
Remembering and documenting your blessings helps you stay focused on the positive in the chaos of the holidays. Gratitude journals are available in either paper or app forms. Here is a link to a list of gratitude apps to consider.
After being stuck at the airport for hours while traveling to visit the family that drives you a bit crazy, only to be seated next to someone who doesn’t prioritize personal hygiene in their life, gratitude may not be at the top of your list of emotions.
But you can choose to fume for the next five hours, or you could journal how grateful you are that your flight neighbor hasn’t taken off their shoes. In those moments, it’s easy to take for granted and forget to be thankful for the pilot who landed us safely and for that loving family member who went out of their way to pick you up at a crowded airport terminal in the middle of a snowstorm.
Sharing Your Gratitude on Social Media
Sharing the things, people, and places you enjoy and appreciate with your social media followers, can help you focus on the good things in your life and inspire your friends to do the same. Avoid bragging and instead lift others up or shout out a friend that did something nice for you. Spread some light.
Be Kind To Your Body
Sticking to a healthy diet and keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum is no small feat during the holidays. But eating clean and drinking plenty of water will help prevent overeating and carb burnout at a time when our limits are pushed to the max. Finally, don’t forget to get adequate rest between all the holiday festivities!
How do you find peace of mind during the holidays? Share them in the comments below!
Author: Eden Landrie Editor: Jennifer Hart