Did you know that practicing gratitude has the potential to shift the way you see the world? It’s true!
In fact, giving thanks for the good things in your life will make you happier, improve your relationships, and benefit your health.
While gratitude is a beneficial practice for everyone, it’s especially impactful for those in recovery. By choosing positivity, you will be better equipped to handle potential setbacks and face challenges with patience and determination.
Pessimism, boredom, and hopelessness are common contributing factors to relapse, all of which can be counteracted by being thankful for the positive things in life.
While we know that the holiday season can be difficult for those in recovery, it’s important to surround yourself with the people in your life who have supported you along the way.
Not only will this help you resist any temptation you may encounter, but it will give you reason to feel grateful this time of the year.
If you are struggling to find things in your life to be grateful for, know that it’s okay to start small.
Some Little Things to Feel Grateful For:
- Someone opening the door for you
- Sunny weather
- A smile from a stranger
- A good book
- Warm clothing
- Texts from a friend
- A delicious meal
- A hot bath
…And the list goes on.
From the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed, there are countless things to say thank you for. When you shift your awareness and practice mindfulness, you’ll begin to see that you are surrounded with many reasons to feel grateful.
While the holiday season may tend to highlight strained relationships and present tempting situations, it is also the perfect season to practice gratitude.
In addition to taking note of the little things in life that make you feel happy, you can help others feel loved by extending your gratitude.
5 Ways to Extend Gratitude This Holiday Season
1. Send Holiday Cards
Send handwritten notes to your friends and family members to tell them you are thinking about them. Decorate each card or keep it simple and heartfelt.
Whichever you choose, your cards are sure to brighten someone else’s day.
2. Compliment Others
Text a friend and share something you appreciate about them. Tell a stranger you like their shoes. Leave a nice comment on someone’s Facebook profile picture.
Not only will giving a compliment make another person feel good, you’ll feel happier as well.
3. Say Thank You
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the business of everyday life and neglect to thank other people. Pay special attention to those who make each day a little easier by working service jobs.
Say “Thank You” to the mail carrier, the barista at your favorite coffee shop, your hair stylist, or even the retail workers at the mall.
This can be a stressful time of year for everyone and expressing your appreciation is sure to make them feel valued.
Did you know that volunteering is one of the best ways to combat boredom and increase gratitude?
Whether you go work at a food kitchen, help out at an animal shelter, or donate your time to a local recovery center, you will benefit the lives of others.
While volunteering is a great way to make a difference, it also will connect you to a community and give you more reasons to feel thankful.
5. Start a Gratitude Journal
Hold yourself accountable to practicing gratitude by making a point to write down a couple things you are thankful for each day.
Schedule this activity into your daily routine by doing it first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
Go the extra mile and carry a small journal and write down things you’re grateful for throughout the day.
If you start to slip into negativity, challenge yourself to write down a single thing you’re thankful for. You may be surprised to find that this simple activity can transform your outlook.
Rather than feeling discouraged and negative this time of year, use the holiday season as a source for joy and thankfulness.
Appreciate the little things like hot chocolate, fresh snow, and your favorite holiday movie. Then, shine on others by expressing gratitude in your daily life.
Whether you are spending this season with your family, friend community, or another support system, your gratitude is sure to brighten up their holidays by making them feel appreciated and loved.