The holiday of Thanksgiving brings gratitude into focus. We see ourselves around the table sharing what we are grateful for. All too often, even the day after Thanksgiving, we are too busy to experience the gratitude we remarked on throughout the holiday season and beyond. Make your holiday especially meaningful with a gratitude practice.
Benefits of Gratitude
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. A gratitude practice boosts your immune system, improves mental health, and creates resilience.
Gratitude during the holiday season
Throughout the holiday season, create a gratitude practice that includes recognizing the positive aspects of your life and that impact.
Here are a few ways to practice during the holidays:
- write a short note in your journal using holiday color gel pens
- notice the smells of the holidays and what those evoke
- text someone as they come to mind and use holiday emojis
- do a little unexpected for someone who makes your day easier every day, such a kind word of appreciation
- pray for those in your community and family
- write a card expressing what is special to someone who you are close to and have not expressed regularly
- slow your pace to be able to appreciate the season
Practice gratitude with those around you with these ideas:
- gather your family or friends each evening during dinner and talk about one thing you are grateful for today
- place a gratitude jar in your kitchen with a pen and slips of paper so that each person can add to the jar each day during the holidays
- walk and talk with your family, friends, and colleagues sharing what you are grateful for today
- say thank you and explain why you are grateful to colleagues at work
- notice other’s strengths and “superpowers” authentically
Gratitude moving into the new year
While the holidays seem too busy, it is the best time to experience gratitude. Take the next step into the new year with a gratitude routine. This new habit will bring you the joy, connections, and health you want.