Gratitude Exercises For Thanksgiving and The Holiday Season
Actively cultivating gratitude can help with other things related to the holidays, such as dealing with difficult family and friends during gatherings, managing travel stress, or coping with the loneliness or winter blues that sometimes occur during the holiday season.
Below are some gratitude-building exercises that can help you through the holiday challenges and give you greater feelings of joy and satisfaction in the New Year:
- Maintain a gratitude journal before you face challenges. When you maintain a gratitude journal, you receive an emotional boost from each writing session, but as it becomes a habit, you tend to notice the things in your life to be grateful for. But journaling for a few days (or maybe even once) can help you get into the right mindset to be more resilient to the stress of a holiday gathering or other upcoming challenges.
- Use gratitude in social media. Sharing what you appreciate about your life can help your friends enjoy these things as well, and can help you maintain a more positive attitude in general. This is something to keep in mind as you visit family for the holidays, face the crowds while shopping for gifts, and participate in the many activities of the holiday season.
- Remember what you love about people who cause friction. When we travel to visit families during the holiday season, we often encounter more stress than we anticipated. If you find yourself feeling friction between yourself and another friend or family member at a holiday gathering, remember that this is more common than you may realize, and it doesn't mean that you don't love this person. Think about one or two things you love about this person or positive experiences you've shared with them in the past - get in touch with your feelings of gratitude for this person.
- Make gratitude a group exercise. If you're already thinking about what you appreciate about those around you, why not share your gratitude and spread the feelings of goodwill? You can share some positive memories about those around you or tell them what you appreciate about them. It will help spread feelings of love and gratitude and just might be the start of a new tradition!