The upcoming holiday season can be a stressful time for many, both emotionally and physically. Some deal with family drama, others with the challenges that holiday eating and weight loss goals can pose, and some with overseeing the organization of holiday events and gatherings. However, practicing gratitude can make all the difference between a beautiful or terrible experience for you and those around you.
When you view life as a gift, you tend to enjoy stronger relationships with those around you, and experience improved resilience & physical health. Think of gratitude as a muscle that requires exercise and regular use to stay functional and fit. Here’s a few more reasons why practicing gratitude this holiday season (and after that too) will allow you to stay happier and healthier:
- Reach Your Goals – A two month study proved that participants who listed the things they are grateful for showed much better progress toward achieving their fitness goals than those who did not. Do this, and you’ll see how it becomes a positive feedback loop – as you use your gratitude to reach your goals, you’ll have more the be grateful for, making your list longer of things to appreciate and therefore your motivation greater!
- Reduce Depression and Anxiety – Being grateful injects your thoughts, outlook and interactions with other people with positivity. When we shift our focus from our fears, worries and sadness, we re-program our brains to seek out the good. Through this process, we take power away from anxiety and depression, making gratitude a tool in the fight towards a healthy mind.
- Live Happier and Healthier – There are some fairly direct benefits of practicing gratitude daily, such as improved energy level, increased alertness, improved self-esteem and a better night’s rest. All of these factors will help you power up your fitness and wellness efforts, alongside making healthier eating choices and even healthier relationship choices.
Take gratitude a step further and pay it forward. Donate your time or energy to someone or something. Don’t forget to allow others to reciprocate, welcoming kindness from loved ones and strangers alike. An abundance of shared blessings might not bring world peace. However, it can improve the quality-of-life for you and those with whom you come in contact.