Quick Tips for and Benefits of Boosting Your Holiday Season Gratitude
As we all collectively look forward to 2022, there are things that we can pause to be thankful for right now even in these very challenging times. To say the last two years have been difficult for the world is an understatement. But we do have things to be thankful for despite the trials and tribulations of 2020 and 2021. First, we are alive and reading this article. Second, we have an important reason to be here – to spread love, joy and kindness – which the world needs so much of right now. You are important and your work in the world is too. Read on for how you can be your best to shine that love into the world.
The global holiday season includes Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Boxing Day, Thanksgiving, and New Years (bye-bye 2020-2021 and Hello 2022!) as some of the major holidays. Thanksgiving is celebrated in several countries including the US in November and Canada in October. We can set aside time wherever you reside in the world during this holiday season to give thanks and feel gratitude for all of the good things in your life. Like your family and friends, your pets, your wonderful clients, your path, the Reiki journey, the ability to affect lives in a positive way with your practice, to name a few. Wherever you live in the world, the November and December holiday season is the perfect time to remember what is truly important and valuable in your life and to practice gratitude.
A 2021 research article from prestigious Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School detailed research on gratitude. In one study, three groups of research participants were asked to write about either daily irritations, events that had affected them, or things they were grateful for throughout the week. After the 10 weeks of the study, their finding showed that “those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.”
Also, the Harvard article suggested that “gratitude is an attainment associated with emotional maturity.”
The holiday season can be a time of joy and happiness but also of rushing around, crowded travel in winter weather, and sometimes even more stress than we already have. How can we de-stress and cultivate gratitude during this time?
As we approach the holiday season around the world, it’s a good time to reflect on the positive before and while connecting with family, friends and those close with you. As Reiki practitioners, we’re filled with loving energy on a regular basis. But that doesn’t mean even the best of us may not get a shade cranky now and then. Boosting your gratitude can help you escape the cranky, and the following quick tips can help.
Write a Gratitude List
This is one of the fastest and easiest ways to boost your gratitude levels. Simply grab a piece of paper and pen, and then make a list of things that make you warm and cuddly inside. This practice has a huge range of variations, making it the perfect fix for so many situations.
- For gratitude maintenance: Write down one thing for which you’re grateful every morning and every evening as part of your morning and evening rituals.
- For gratitude jump-starts: Write a list of 10 things when you’re feeling kind of blah.
- For gratitude overhauls: Write a list of 100 things if you need a substantial boost.
Do a Gratitude Spot Check
No matter where you are or what you’re doing at any given time of the day, take a moment to appreciate at least one thing around you. Similar to but less formal than a gratitude list, you can do the spot check right in your head. It’s an easy way to enhance a glorious moment — or get yourself out of a grumpy one.
If you’re stuck in traffic, for instance, instead of scowling about the red lights and the packed left-turn lane, take notice of something good. Like the exceptionally beautiful teal color of the minivan next to you, or the happy dog hanging his head out the window two cars up.
Express Appreciation for Others
Whether you send out a thank you note, call a friend, or bake someone a cake, showing your appreciation for others is a delightful way to put gratitude into action. It makes you happy. It makes the other person happy. It also enhances and strengthens your relationship.
Be Kind to Every Living Thing
This tip is a double good whammy. Not only is it a way to boost gratitude, but it’s one of the Reiki principles. Being kind can quickly generate feelings of gratitude, especially if you ask for nothing in return. Open the door for someone entering the store. Give your pup or kitty cat an extra-big pet. Caress and talk to your houseplants. And don’t forget to extend the kindness to yourself.
Weave these practices into your daily life and you’ll find gratitude becomes a constant and welcome companion. The more frequently gratitude fills your heart, the tougher it is for cranky to compete, and the happier your overall life can be. No matter what is the metaphorical weather outside, you can use the practice of gratitude to bring you back to center so that you can face whatever challenges come your way. And make a positive difference in the world. Reiki Blessings and Happy Holiday Season to everyone!