You've heard it before, gratitude makes you happier. There are lots of studies saying so, you can look them up if you'd like. November and into December, our days are shortening here in the Northern Hemisphere. Every day it gets dark a little earlier and lighter a little later. This can make things tough for anyone who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder. It's also growing downright cold here in the Northern US. We haven't had much heavy snow yet but we all know it's on it's way. The holidays are also upon us which present a whole host of pressures, stresses and a new level of busy-ness. Preparing food, gifts, travel plans, interacting with family, it's all a lot of added pressure. So if you're not feeling awesome right now, you have lots of reasons. But there is something you can do.
We're not going to end commercialization of the Holidays or be able to avoid that one unpleasant family member and we can't change the weather, but we can certainly be grateful for what we do have. And it feels good to be grateful, all the studies say so. But even better, Gratitude can lead to a new sense of hope, motivation and recognition of what is truly important in our lives. So consider expanding that gratitude practice.
Think of what you are thankful for and try providing it to someone else. Grateful for your family's celebration each year; Invite a friend to your celebration. Thankful for the extra tomatoes you were able to can this year; take some to a neighbor. Thankful for your morning Starbucks, buy some for the person in the drive through behind you.
This is the time of year we could all use some extra happiness, some extra care, and some extra joy.
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, And the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. - Buddha