How to Escape Holiday Financial Stress for a Happier Life

‘Tis the season to buy gifts for loved ones. In this new world order where too many companies have attempted to downsize until there’s almost no one left, plenty of us feel the squeeze financially around the holidays. But holiday financial stress isn’t something that’s talked about very much, lest we seem Grinch-like, pathetic, or petty.

So we tighten (and tighten and tighten) that belt buckle, and squeeze our eyes shut while we give our credit cards some exercise.

How do we get out of this place where we stop worrying about STUFF and MONEY, and focus more on what’s so great about the holiday season?

The answer might cause you to say, “Really? This again? Sigh.” Yes, this again: Gratitude. WAIT WAIT WAIT. Before you click away and onto something else, hear me out. There are more reasons than ever to get on the gratitude bandwagon. Here are 15 reasons:

From the New York Times, practicing gratitude is linked to:

  1. Better health
  2. Sounder sleep
  3. Less anxiety and depression
  4. Higher long-term satisfaction with life
  5. Kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners

Time Inc.’s special edition on Mindfulness says gratitude causes:

  1. More happiness
  2. “An ever-increasing sense of vitality” (if you’re consistently grateful)
  3. Improved kidney function
  4. Reduced blood pressure
  5. Lower stress hormone levels
  6. A stronger heart
  7. Greater emotional resiliency (ability to bounce back after negative experiences)
  8. Calmer nervous system
  9. Improved relationships
  10. You’ll be a nicer person

The Raising Happiness blog says grateful kids experience greater emotional and social wellbeing. They get higher grades, show fewer signs of depression, feel socially included and get more enjoyment from their activities.

So how do you get started? Time says subjects who wrote down just ONE thing they were grateful for daily for only three weeks were 25% happier for a full SIX months afterwards!!! That’s a lot of bang for your happiness buck with very little investment.

How do you remember to practice gratitude? You can use complaining as your reminder. Every time you get wrapped around the axle about something annoying, when you get worn down by the daily grind, and run over in the hustle and bustle, boost your mood by just taking one small moment to think of ONE thing you are grateful for, and your life will improve in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine.

Happy holidays. Today and every day, I’m grateful for you. 🙂

 

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