The holidays are a time we are supposed to feel grateful and positive, but what if we just plain don’t, is there anything we can do about it?
Research shows that having a positive/grateful attitude can help you live longer and healthier. Regardless of whatever bad luck may have befallen you, there is something you can do to bring some positivity into your life and keep yourself healthier this holiday season. Try one, two or all 5 of these strategies to recognize the good and bring more of the positive into your life.
1. Discover Gratitude
Making a habit of coming up with 3 new things each day you are grateful for actually trains your brain to scan for the positive (rather than just the negative). It actually helps your brain to focus on (and enjoy) the good.
Seriously? YES! Why? Because writing about 1 positive experience you have had over the past 24 hours allows you and your brain to re-live the positive moments and pleasures. Anything wrong with that?
Good for your system of course but this also teaches your brain that what you do/your behavior really matters. Also, research says that people who move live longer—so get moving!
You don’t have to buy a Buddha, incense, or set up a shrine for yourself (though you can if you want!). Just take a few moments to sit quietly and clear your mind of all the day’s chatter and noise. Take time to rest and focus on just one thing (a ‘time out’ from the multi-tasking world we live in). Gently breathe in, gently breathe out, and focus only on your breath. As a thought pops up in your ‘mental house’, don’t invite it to stay, gently sweep it to the side and go back to focusing on your breath. Do this for a few minutes or more—whatever is comfortable. This is extraordinarily calming.
5. Schedule Play Time
We schedule meetings, conference calls, and weekly events into our daily calendars … why not schedule in time to play? When was the last time you blocked out an hour just to explore and experiment or intentionally reserved time to have fun? Is being happy less important than your Wednesday meeting? No, yet we act like it is because we never give it a time and place on our calendars.
Schedule time for play and adventure to expand your skills, try new ways of doing things, and experience joy.
Happy doesn’t necessarily just happen to us, it may be more in what we do and how we think about our efforts and experiences. Try these strategies and see if you can get your happy on! Wishing you Happy Holidays!