Are you feeling a bit “dry” as this holiday season approaches? More to the point, do you regularly appreciate what you already have or do you want something different? Do you focus on what’s lacking in life? Are you stingy or a frequent complainer? Do you assume you’re entitled to consume just because you can?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, there is a chance you’re taking things in life for granted -- health, friends, family, wealth, or life itself. This results in a tendency to shut yourself and others off from the love and joy born of relationships. You’re likely upset when things and life go contrary to expectations. In the process, you’re robbing your heart of meaningful connections and the ability to enjoy the here and now.
How To Change
Being unappreciative in general and focusing on the half empty is a core attitude that Attitude Reconstruction associates with the emotion of anger. These qualities block our ability to experience the emotion of love. With the holidays approaching, it’s time to reverse your old tendency.
The good news is that there are ways to rekindle the warmth in your heart. Research has shown the benefit of regularly offering gratitude.
Here are a few tips to put you in the holiday spirit and feel better too .
* Pay attention to good fortune, and you’ll realize you’re fortunate in every moment
* Verbalize your gratitude, acknowledging the magnificence of what life presents
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* Count your blessings whenever you’re unhappy, flat, or dry -- anytime
* In difficult or mundane situations, with friends or strangers, ask yourself, “What is the gift here? What are the benefits of having things turn out like this?”
* Reframe unplanned inconveniences by recognizing that even situations like missing a train connection can offer gifts such as having a couple of hours to yourself
* As a daily exercise, write, think of, or verbalize one to five things you’re grateful for. For example, “Im grateful for my good health.” “I’m grateful for my friends and family.” “I’m grateful for this meal.”
* Remember your list throughout the day and in doing so, experience the positive feelings that are created
* Say “thank you” often as giving thanks expresses recognition of life’s bountiful offerings. Don’t forget to say “Thank you for your help.”
Another strategy to increase your gratitude quotient is to repeat, the more the better, expressions such as:
I am fortunate.
I am blessed.
I am a lucky gal.
I am a lucky guy.
If you follow these simple suggestions, you’ll feel more waves of love. You’ll experience the sweet feeling of gratitude for all things, great and small, and recognize life is full of blessings in every moment.
You’ll be able to give to others without expecting anything in return and feel more connected to life. You might even realize that it’s a gift to be alive, regardless of your struggles or challenges. You’ll smile more often, because your heart is lighter. In short, you’ll feel blessed no matter your circumstance!
May I suggest that as you sit down to your meal on Thanksgiving Day (or for every meal), everyone around the table voices what they are grateful for. It will put a heartwarming spin on this sacred day. Happy Thanksgiving and I wish you much joy, love, and peace.
©2018 by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
All Rights Reserved.
Book by this Author
Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life
by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
With practical tools, real-life examples, and everyday solutions for thirty-three destructive attitudes, Attitude Reconstruction can help you stop settling for sadness, anger, and fear, and infuse your life with love, peace, and joy.
About the Author
Jude Bijou is a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT), an educator in Santa Barbara, California and the author of Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life. In 1982, Jude launched a private psychotherapy practice and started working with individuals, couples, and groups. She also began teaching communication courses through Santa Barbara City College Adult Education. Visit her website at AttitudeReconstruction.com/
* Watch an interview with Jude Bijou: How to Experience More Joy, Love and Peace
* Watch video: Shiver to Express Fear Constructively (with Jude Bijou)