The Season to be Grateful

By: Jessica Buster

Christmas – ’tis the Season to be jolly, so they say. Christmas is often a time of celebration, joy, cheerfulness, and happiness.

However, have you often stopped to wonder – WHY? It is a time of gift giving and receiving, of friends and family, of rest and relaxation, and of food. It is a time when we are often grateful. Gratitude is often described as a sense of thankfulness and joy. It can be seen as a personal characteristic, a mood, an emotion, a strength or an attitude. No matter how you think of gratitude, it is consistently linked to personal and relational well-being. No wonder we have a season dedicated to it.

Gratitude is associated with positive emotional experiences (e.g. happiness), helping behaviour towards others, social connectedness, and improved life-satisfaction and optimism. To thoughtfully and intentionally practice gratitude takes spending some time each day shifting your mind from focusing on what you lack to appreciating what you have.

A few practical ways to start practicing gratitude include:

  • Counting your blessings: Pick a time each day or week to think about or write about what went right or what you are grateful for. And if you like, share some of the things you are thankful for with a loved one.
  • Write a thank you note: Express your thankfulness and appreciation for a person on paper or in an email. And if you would like, share that gratitude with the person by sending or reading it to them.
  • Make gratitude part of family life: Spend quality time with loved ones. Play with the kids that extra 5 minutes, cook a special meal for a loved one, or call a family member more often. And make sure you regularly talk about things to be grateful for.

So, what are you grateful for this Christmas?


Article supplied with thanks to The Centre for Effective Living.

Feature image: Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash