For many, Thanksgiving and the holiday season is a time to enjoy the company of family, friends, and loved ones, but while these festivities ensue a great deal of fun, it can be a very stressful time as well. If you ever needed a better time or reason to enhance your resiliency, the holidays are that time and reason – and what better way to start than by giving thanks and demonstrating gratitude to our loved ones on Thanksgiving! In fact, one of the six strategies for enhancing resiliency is to give thanks and develop gratitude.
One of the easiest emotions to conjure up during stressful times is gratitude. When you turn your attention to things that you might take for granted, you generate happiness and positivity. Studies have shown that when we demonstrate gratitude we experience increased optimism and happiness, we have fewer negative physical symptoms, we are less likely to retaliate against criticism, we have lower aggression and greater empathy and we have an increased motivation to exercise (and who doesn’t need that around the holidays.)
So if during this precious time, you find yourself feeling like you’re ready to ring your brothers neck or you can’t stand to hear one more condescending comment from your mother-in-law, think about the people who make your life complete. Maybe it’s your parents, your children, your siblings, your significant other, or your best friend. Bring your attention towards what makes you happy and give thanks for it.