3 Tips to Have the Happiest Holiday Season EVER!
To me, a happy holiday season is meant to be a time where we can step out of our busy day-to-day life to renew the bonds we have with close friends and family. I try to make it a priority to always appreciate those who I am blessed to have in my life, but this time of year is a special reminder and a great time to go above and beyond a simple thank you. It’s a time that I use to reconnect with myself as well by reflecting back and celebrate the year that has passed. What I see far to often during the holidays though are people who are sick and stressed out, over-committed, over-spent, and generally unhappy. Sure, everyone has different challenges and stressors, but according to Dan Gilbert, the author of Stumbling on Happiness, there are 3 commonalities amongst those who are challenged when it comes to being happy:
1. Postponing Happiness: Have you ever heard yourself saying “once I have that then I’ll be happy” or “once I can do that then I’ll be happy” or “once I meet that special someone then I’ll be happy”. That type of stinkin’ thinkin’ never worked for anyone who ever wanted lasting happiness. Those who think like this are doomed to being miserable while they wait for that special something or someone to magically drop in their lap. Stop living on “some day” island, and decide to be happy NOW. I like to use the mantra BE-DO-HAVE: Decide to BE happy, so you can DO the things happy people DO, and you’ll naturally attract the things that you want to HAVE in your life. Notice that it’s not the other way around: HAVE-DO-BE. IF you aren’t deciding to BE happy now, you most certainly will not HAVE happiness later.
2. Always Making Others Happy: One of the most natural behaviors that is woven into our DNA is the feeling of satisfaction we get when we make others feel happy. In fact, this can be such a powerful emotion that many of us live our entire lives dedicated to the satisfaction or approval of others; which inevitably leaves us feeling unhappy. So many people grow up doing what they thought their mother/father/teacher/preacher would want them to do or be. Have you ever asked yourself what is true happiness to YOU?
3. Comparing Yourself to Others: This is a trap that many people fall into when it comes to being happy. Culturally we are set up to always be looking at the things that we don’t have, rather than be appreciative of the things that we do have. It is impossible to be appreciative if you are always worried about what others have or are thinking and doing. Don’t worry about giving the most expensive gifts this year, give a gift from the heart that is meaningful. One of the best gifts I ever gave was a home-made scrabble game, it took me a few hours in a wood shop to make but it was well worth it. The gifts that are the most creative and thoughtful are usually the best and not usually the most expensive gifts either.
The best way to have a great holiday this year is to sincerely have appreciation for the things that you already have. Think about the people, the relationships, the abundance that you get to experience daily. Appreciation is one of the highest emotional states that you could ever experience and it literally IS the state of abundance. So change your focus this holiday season, don’t wait until you have something to be happy about; decide to BE happy!
Here are 3 tips that I use to help me achieve a state of gratitude everyday:
1. Start your day off with an attitude of gratitude. When you get out of bed, your first 2 steps on the ground could be “Thank You”. Which is always a better way to start a Monday morning than Oh God! This will help set the tone for the rest of your day. Try it! I also like to take 5-10 minutes to write in my journal some of the things I am most grateful for in my life.
2. Appreciate 3 people per day. I find writing small thank you notes is always more powerful than just a verbal appreciation. That way they can be read over again and remind that person how much you appreciate them. This will build you more friendships and respect than any other behavior, and it makes you feel amazing.
3. Always choose to look for the positives. This simple concept alone has made more of an impact on my life than any other. No matter what, there is always a positive and a negative in every situation depending on how you look at things. When my health failed when I was in my early 20′s it was devastating mentally and physically, but it helped me gain perspective in my life and find my calling as a health coach and chiropractor. If I could have done it over, I wouldn’t have changed a thing even though it was the most challenging time of my life. No matter what the situation may be, always look for the good because it is always there.
Use these simple tips this holiday season and you are sure to have your best of all time!
Have a safe and happy holiday!
Your health coach,
Dr. Ryan Hewitt