Being Grateful for What You Have This Christmas - How to Avoid the Post Christmas Emotional Crash

24/12/2014 17:50 GMT | Updated 23/02/2015 10:59 GMT
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I've experienced some really shitty moments in my own life, and it's this time of year where I'm usually reminded - not because of any specific event that occurred during this festive period, but because of the over indulgence that usually happens within the following weeks.

Having worked with people when they are generally at their low, I fully understand what happens and the realization that occurs once this 'heightened' period has lapsed. Because of this, here is my advice on how to avoid the post-festive emotional crash.

Be grateful.

Be grateful for all of the great things you already have in your life, you have put there...whether it's a great job, a great house, a great partner, or great friends...you have attracted all of them into your life and for this alone you should be grateful.

Remember, your subconscious requires direction and at this time of year it's no different...it only works to specifics...and when you ask your subconscious to do something, it does it. Your subconscious mind likes simple instructions...and it likes to be rewarded and praised.

Control your thoughts.

  • Imagine, for a moment, if you woke up every morning and thanked yourself for the actions you took the previous day... how much more might you achieve every day...?
  • What would each new day be like if you started it by taking a moment to reflect on everything you have to be grateful for? Scientific research has shown that "counting your blessings" and being in a state of gratitude can increase your happiness by 25 per cent. Dr Robert Emmons of the University of California, Davis, has conducted several studies through which he has concluded that keeping a weekly "gratitude journal" and recording happenings to be thankful for leads to feeling better about life as a whole, and greater feelings of optimism about the week ahead, than recording "hassles" or neutral happenings. He has also found that creating and keeping a "gratitude list" has a positive effect on your potential to achieve personal goals, and that daily gratitude exercises can generate an overall sense of wellbeing, often leading to improvements in lifestyle, including regular exercise and more restful sleep. In a state of gratitude, your focus shifts away from what you don't have in your life to what you do have, and it's the law of gratitude that you always attract more of what you genuinely appreciate into your life.

So what do you appreciate...?

Create A Gratitude List

Over the festive period write down five things you're grateful for in your life every day.... You may be surprised by how many positive things you already have in your life...things you've perhaps taken for granted...

The positive effects of gratitude can also be summed up with the old saying, "What goes around comes around." Further scientific studies have revealed that people who receive unexpected help or assistancein some way from others are then very likely to do a good deed for someone else in return. In fact, the act of giving or helping others can result in a feel-good factor known as the "helper's high"...similar to the endorphin rush experienced during exercise known as the "runner's high"...encouraging a repeat of the behavior that caused it.

Doing good makes you feel good.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health in the US have found that giving, whether a donation of money or time, activates the brain's mesolimbic system. This is part of the reward reinforcement system, responsible for activating feelings of reward and reinforcement in response to stimuli such as food, sex, money, or drugs. Giving can trigger the release of the neurotransmitters that generate an overallsense of well-being, and the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin in particular...both connected to the sense of calm, peace, and stability experienced by partners in a long-term relationship.... So, just as the effects of positive thinking run deeper than many people realize, so do the effects of giving and of helping others.

In 2006, multi-millionaire TV personality Oprah Winfrey gave every member of her "Oprah Winfrey Show" audience $1000 to give awayto others. They were also given a camcorder through which to record the experience of giving it away. In previous shows, audience members had been given gifts in the form of "Oprah's Favorite Things" but in this show she said, "I can honestly say that every gift I've ever given has brought at least as much happiness to me as it has to the person I've given it to. That's the feeling I want to pass on to you." Many of the audience members returned to the follow-up show reporting that the experience of being in a position to give had changed them profoundly, positively changing their attitude and outlook on life.

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."- Oprah Winfrey

So, what you are you grateful for? What can you give this year that will change the life of another forever? Let us know by posting your answers on our Facebook page here.

Image from shutterstock.