Gratitude helps reduce stress.

Gratitude as a stress reducer can be especially helpful at holiday time.  Feeling grateful helps you shift into a positive mental and emotional state, which naturally reduces the effects of stress.

The holidays can create extra stress.

Holidays can evoke very strong, difficult emotions.  You may feel nostalgic, pressured to do what is expected, pressured by time constraints, and/or strapped financially.  Unrealistic expectations can create further stress.  You may experience difficult family and social situations.

How can gratitude help?

Knowing what is truly important to you can be a first step.  Focusing on what is important and of value to you, can help you focus on the positive, and set realistic expectations.

To the best of your ability, make choices that embody your values.  Make those choices your priority.  You will feel better about them, if you focus on the underlying value in them.  Then, feel gratitude for the choices you make, and for your awareness in the process.

Find something you can appreciate about whatever is stressing you.  Knowing your values can help you do this.  Focus on the positive, feeling the appreciation and gratitude.  This can help you connect to Source, and feel more peace.

Gratitude

Live in the moment.

Do the best you can in the moment.  You can’t change the past, nor others.  By now I am sure you know you yourself don’t likely change quickly, either.

Be present with yourself and the situation.  Ask yourself how you can make the best of the situation.  Feel gratitude for the positives.

Take a deep breath, and focus on your connection to source, peace.  Meditate if you have time (if you are on my list, you get free mp3 recordings that can help with this.  Not on my list? Click here to sign up.)

Be gentle with, and grateful for, yourself as well.

Have you truly appreciated your own abilities, gifts, traits, talents, strengths, and even your weaknesses?  Have you ever even really taken time to notice them? Have you felt gratitude for you you ARE?

Feeling gratitude for who you ARE fosters self love and appreciation.  This can further enhance a positive mood, self confidence, self esteem, and, thus, a healthier state of being.

Feeling more relaxed, happier, healthier, more confident, and a greater sense of self-esteem with clarity around your values, gifts and abilities, can also help you navigate life’s stressful times, including holidays.

Be gentle with yourself.  You evolved overtime, not overnight.  Think its realistic to expect to change overnight?

How can gratitude help you navigate holiday stress?

Follow these steps:

  1. Begin by tuning in to yourself, being honest about what you are thinking and feeling as a result of your thoughts.  Notice the effects your feelings are having on you, and the situation.
  2. Make choices that embody your values, and focus on the value to stay positive.
  3. Look for the good in the situation, the person, etc.  Focus on the good to stay positive.
  4. Be gentle with yourself and others.  Set realistic expectations, and be compassionate. Compassion goes a long way, including when you show it to yourself.
  5. Focus on feeling gratitude for the moment, your choices, the people in your life, all that you have, and all that you ARE. (Hint: a gratitude journal can be helpful here….  ).

gratitude for abundance

Choose a mantra.

I love to use this one: “I am grateful for all that I AM, all that I have, all that I am Becoming, and all that is yet coming to me.”  That helps me focus on appreciation and gratitude for everything I have mentioned above.  For me, it is all-encompassing because of the way I view life.

If it doesn’t resonate with you, that is ok, too.  Feel free to choose your own mantra if it helps.  Just remember to keep it positive so your subconscious will bring you more of what you want (remember the non-conscious mind doesn’t recognize “not ____”  – it will bring you more of the “___”, whatever that is for you….).

What are you grateful for?

Have you had any insights while reading this?  Is there anything that you can feel gratitude for now that you hadn’t in the past?

How are you going to approach the holidays differently?

Feel free to comment below.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

What ARE you grateful for?