Count your blessings
It’s going to be a different kind of Christmas for most of us this year, and you might find your mind wandering to all the things you are missing out on. Today’s final advent practice is an invitation to focus on gratitude.
At Christmas we often think about the gifts we want to receive. Today, on Christmas Eve, make a special list of things you already have – and how it makes you feel to have these things in your life.
Gratitude, focusing on what we have rather than what we lack, can boost our mental health, calm our stress responses and help manage our emotions.
Gratitude is a choice. You decide to think about the positives rather than dwelling on the negatives or uncertainties. It not only helps you appreciate life, it helps you build emotional strength and resilience, and more control over your reactions.
At this time of year, cultivating gratitude can help you with managing stress, loneliness and winter blues. It can also help you navigate relationships with difficult family members or friends.
As with our other practices, it’s about appreciating what is here in the present moment, and the more your practice gratitude, the more you’ll likely notice that you have to be grateful for.
Today, I am grateful for …
Rather than the gifts you hope to receive over Christmas, list the things you have already in your life and notice how each one makes you feel.
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