Giving Thanks

Photo by muffintinmom
Photo by muffintinmom

The holidays are really a mixed bag, aren’t they? You love getting together with family and friends, but some of those gatherings can get a little rough around the edges. It’s fun to see people’s eyes light up when you give them that perfect gift, but getting the gift can be a hassle, and there’s always that worry about expenses this time of year. In other words, there’s lots that’s good, but sometimes there’s also plenty that’s less so. If you’re finding it hard to look on the bright side of the holidays (or any days), here’s a simple solution to keeping those blues at bay: say thank you.

The power of gratitude is big news these days. One study showed that practicing gratitude can raise your happiness by as much as 25%. Gratitude has also been linked to better health, sounder sleep, lower levels of anxiety, reduced depression, and higher long-term satisfaction with life. Gratitude even makes teenagers happier  — and improves their grades. That’s pretty powerful. And cultivating gratitude is easy to do.

•Focus on the positive as often as you can. You don’t have to be Pollyanna. You just have to pause to think about what you do have rather than getting caught up in what you don’t have. Or stop to notice what’s right with a situation instead of what’s wrong with it.

•Take a few minutes every day to consider the things you’re thankful for. Do it as soon as you wake up, right before you go to sleep, or during your commute to or from work.

•Keep a gratitude journal, and record everything thing you’re grateful for—not just the big things. A beautiful sunset is as worthy of note as your baby’s first steps.

•Say thank you.

•Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life and give them specifics about what they did and why it mattered. Deliver the letter in person if you can.

These may sound like simple, common-sense type things, but they do take practice. Start with the easy ones, like saying thank you more often, then move on to the things that take more concentration and/or effort, like keeping the journal. And remember: even a slight shift can make a big difference.

And while we’re on the subject of gratitude….for five years, here at My Personal Valet, we have shopped, packed, organized, planned and helped our clients improve the quality of their lives. We are so grateful to all who have allowed us into their homes and lives. It has been a wonderful journey so far and we’re looking forward to the next five years. Thank you. Have a happy & safe holiday season.

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