Being grateful for what you have this Christmas
TIMESTAMP: 3 MINUTE READ
For a lot of us, the holidays are a time for happiness, love and celebration, but for others, this time of year can be difficult, whether it be due to the loss of loved ones, a recent break up or just general stress. December is often known as one of the toughest months of the year and staying positive throughout this time can be hard, but no matter how difficult things are, there is always a way to make the most of the good moments you have. By staying focused on the good in your life, it will make it a lot easier to get through the holiday season when you are feeling not so festive.
Here are a few ways you can stay positive when the holidays get hard.
Think of what you have, instead of what you do not
Being grateful for the things that you have in your life, whether it be a house to live in, a good friend or a steady job...these are all good things in your life, and should not be forgotten about.
If you are finding it hard to think about things you are grateful for, try creating a gratitude list. Over the festive period, write down 3 things you are grateful for every day. By the end of the month you will be surprised at how many amazing things there are in your life that you may have taken for granted.
Not matter how difficult things are, there is at least one thing that is going right in your life. It might be miniscule in the scheme of things, but it is something positive to focus on, rather than only thinking of the bad in your life. There are great things that are happening all around you and it is up to you to open your eyes and look out for them.
"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."- Oprah Winfrey
Realize that you are not alone
It is easy to feel as though you are the only one going through a tough time over the holidays, but the reality is that there are many others out there that are struggling just as you are. Remembering that you are not alone in your struggle and that there are people doing it tougher than you are can make you feel grateful and really help to put things in perspective.
Spend time with the less fortunate
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health in the US have found that giving activates the brain's mesolimbic system. Giving can trigger the release of the neurotransmitters that generate an overall sense of well-being. Whether it be giving your time, money or donations, giving to another who is less fortunate than you are is one of the quickest ways to put your life in perspective. There are some great volunteer opportunities around the holiday season, so find one that resonates with you and contact them. It will make you feel so much more positive, knowing that you are helping someone else.
Get out of the house
When you are feeling down, it can be so easy to stay inside, away from the surroundings of other people, but this is probably one of the worse things you can do. Interacting with others might be the last thing on your mind this festive season, but force yourself to get out and socialize and you will not regret it. Being surrounded by positive people will definitely improve your mood and it will feel a lot better than being alone.
You might not be in the holiday mindset this year, and everyone else’s cheerful moods may be driving you crazy, but if you focus your attention on staying positive and thinking of the bigger picture then there is a good chance that you will feel some kind of joy or happiness over the next few months. Just remember, this time in your life might be tough, but there will be a holiday season when you will be one of those cheerful, happy people spreading holiday cheer.
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