Millions of mothers have been teaching some fundamental truths to their children for generations. Things like being content in what you already have and seeking to help out others who need it are much better ways to spend the holidays then partaking in a Black Friday quest to fight off four other people for the last toy on a shelf, right? Scientists have now confirmed what moms have already known: the key to making a happy holiday even happier is an attitude of gratitude.
Why Is Gratitude Such a Powerful Action?
Some might call gratitude an attitude or a perspective, but it really is a verb. The action of gratitude means that a person is actively involved in their personal contentment. Instead of wanting more or comparing themselves to others who have more things, joy comes from what is available around that person. In other words, one could say that gratitude comes from an attitude of giving thanks in all things.
It isn’t always easy to be thankful. Telling someone who is mourning because they lost a loved one 5 years ago during the holidays that they should be thankful is insensitive. Being thankful when there is not enough food to eat tends to get lost in hunger pains. People need to find their thankfulness on their own.
It isn’t your job to make sure that others are thankful. It is your job to pursue your own thankfulness and joy. That’s where gratitude tends to get lost. We all tend to get concerned when others don’t seem as grateful as we see ourselves as being.
How Can We Find More Gratitude?
Finding gratitude is important because a number of health benefits can be achieved. People who are content and grateful have lower blood pressure, lower levels of overall stress, and even lower overall levels of risk for cardiovascular disease development.
The problem that many people face is in finding how to become more grateful for their life circumstances. Times are still tough for families, even though the Great Recession ended in 2009 for most countries. Wages are static. Debt levels are fairly high. Homes are being lost. That’s why starting a journal that emphasizes gratitude can become an important tool to use.
Journaling at least one item that has caused you to be grateful over the course of the day can begin to change your perspective of things. It forces people to look at items throughout the day that they are grateful for having, experiencing, or knowing about. Soon the simple things of life tend to stand out more, like the heat from a working fireplace, the warmth of a sweater, or the joy of friends coming over to play games.
We can all accomplish more with just a little more gratitude. If you are looking to make happier holidays happen this year, then make gratitude the emphasis of your efforts and you will find great success.