From splurging on presents for the grandkids to overindulging in Lindt balls, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the commercial side of Christmas. And then there’s the stress. From how many carrots to buy to whether your son in law is going to like his gift, Christmas can feel a little overwhelming. While there’s nothing wrong with spoiling the little ones of fretting over the small details, it’s also important not to let yourself get swept away by it all.
One of the easiest ways to embrace the true meaning of Christmas is to slow down and give gratitude. And no, we don’t mean in the form of expensive gifts. From an emotional perspective, gratitude is simply about taking the time to recognise the things in life that you truly appreciate.
Whether you’re a religious family or are planning a completely secular Christmas, the art of gratitude can be applied to any belief system.
Why giving gratitude is important
- The simple act of giving gratitude can work wonders for your mental health. Actively recognising positive aspects of your life stimulates neurotransmitters in your brain which will bring a sense of happiness and fulfillment to your life. Furthermore, studies show that practicing gratitude can improve physical health, enhance sleep, boost self-esteem and build resilience.
- Ever get the feeling that life is flying by? Welcoming gratitude into your daily life will help you to live in the moment and savour the things that really bring you joy.
- In an age of materialism, practicing gratitude is an important
A Christmas gift to yourself
While there’s no harm in treating yourself to that designer perfume or fancy tool you’ve had your eye on for months, gratitude is one of the most powerful gifts you can give yourself this festive season. On Christmas Day take the time to list at least five things about yourself that you’re grateful for. Need some inspiration? We love this easy guide from the gratitude gurus at Mind Body Green.
Shower your loved ones in gratitude
Of course, you can wrap up tangible gifts this Christmas. But a great way to really get the warm fuzzies flowing is let your loved ones know just how grateful you are for their presence. From your partner and your grandkids to your close friends and your daughter in law, think about the laughs, smiles and memories that wouldn’t exist if you didn’t have certain people in your life. Now, tell them all about it. From a simple “thank you” to a heartfelt handwritten letter, giving gratitude a voice is guaranteed to bring an extra dimension of meaning to Christmas. You can make it an interactive, family-focusses experience by go around the table and asking each person to list something they’re thankful for.
Make gratitude a lifestyle
While the festive season is a great time to welcome gratitude into your life, the ultimate goal should be to make it an everyday practice. Practicing daily gratitude can be an incredibly powerful way to enrich your life, lift your mood and help you surround yourself with an aura of positivity.