Can you feel the excitement of things starting to ramp up for a busy Fall and holiday season? On my morning walk, I was surprised to see a lighting service putting up holiday lights on a large, beautiful home.
Sometimes it makes anxiety bubble up to think of all the things that I need to do - decorating, buying gifts, setting up holiday events, and more. The key to help me get back to even keel is to distract my monkey brain.
"A grateful mind is a great mind which will eventually attract to itself great things." ~ Plato*
If you start getting overwhelmed with a big, busy holiday schedule, try my exercise this week to see what works to stay calm and productive!
Try This: Use the Power of Gratitude
According to the Harvard Healthbeat Newsletter, "Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice" ** Here are some ways to tap into the power of gratitude:
- Write a thank-you note or email. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude note/email each week to let others know you value them. Also, it is fun to write one to yourself.
- Keep a gratitude journal. If you enjoy writing, jot down thoughts about what you value each day.
- Count your blessings. Either in the early morning or before bed, simply reflect on your blessings or several things you are grateful for.
- Pray. If you enjoy quiet contemplation, simply incorporate gratitude in your prayer.
- Meditate. As you practice mindfulness, focus on what you're grateful for that can be as simple as nature sounds, sunlight, or blue skies.
Often, I will add a gratitude exercise to distract me from anxiety or negativity, bringing me back to a state of peacefulness and wonder!
** Gratitude quote from the Harvard Healthbeat Newsletter: https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier