Five Gratitude Hacks for the Holidays

by Tess Donelon

Finding gratitude in small ways isn’t easy, especially during the hustle-and-bustle of the holiday season. However, after the events of 2020, there has never been a better time to be thankful for everything that’s going right, instead of focusing on what might be going wrong.

Feeling thankful and reflecting positively on life also offers health benefits that improve your life in both direct and indirect ways. Research shows that feeling and showing gratitude can induce a deep sense of relaxation, improve the immune system and even lower blood pressure!

Ways to practice gratitude daily are all around us, and they’re easier than you might think. Here is a  list of five gratitude hacks to help end your 2020 on an optimistic and uplifting note!

1. Savor the good and look for the silver lining in the bad.

No matter what the situation might be, if you find yourself feeling happy and enjoying the moment, stop for a second and recognize it! Take account of exactly how you feel and later, when that moment might pass and something unexpected may come around, you will be able to think back to a positive time. 

This mindset, of remaining optimistic and living in the moment, will help you to see the good times in a more powerful way than the times that were less than desirable.

2. Reach out to the people you love.

We get so caught up with our own situations that we may forget to consider others. Sending a quick text, calling someone on your way to an errand or FaceTiming them while you’re making dinner, can make all the difference in a time when we have the tendency to feel more alone than connected. This gesture will inspire your friends to do the same thing with you, therefore creating a moment for everyone to feel as though they’re spending time together.

3. Keep a journal and write down something you are thankful for every day.

Whether it’s an actual journal or just a scrap of notebook paper, physically jotting down the things you are thankful for every morning or night can reframe your mind completely.  Big or small, significant or more hidden, even just being able to drink a cup of coffee in the morning can count as something you have gratitude for! Eventually, you’ll be able to look back on all the great things in your life

4. Change your perspective.

If you’re ever having a hard time thinking of something to be grateful for, look to those less fortunate than you. Realize that despite the regular ups and downs of life, everyone has struggles of different magnitudes.

5. Thank yourself!

You may not think about it this way, but you have survived 100 percent of the hardships you have experienced in life thus far. Thank yourself, your body, and your mind for supporting your growth thus far. Being thankful for the simplicity of health and endurance is more than enough. Give yourself a pat on the back, you deserve it.

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