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The Art of Being Grateful This Holiday Season.

The Art of Being Grateful This Holiday Season.
The Art of Being Grateful This Holiday Season.

Christmas can be a fun but also stressful time of year. It’s uber easy to blow your budget, your relatives will frustrate you, and you’ll receive gifts that will probably go straight to Goodwill, and this year in particular this all happens in -2 degree St. Louis weather!

Meanwhile, you sit back and watch your friends post pictures on social media of their idyllic (and tropical) vacations, yearly accomplishments, and super happy toddlers and dogs. You might experience a little stress from not accomplishing all of the 2022 goals you set for yourself. 

Above all of this, while it seems a little bleak the bottom line is that we all have plenty to be grateful for. So let’s talk about gratitude…

Remind me again, what is gratitude?

Gratitude, in short, is a strong feeling of appreciation towards someone who’s helped you. You can also feel gratitude when you make a habit of noticing and appreciating the positives in life (which isn’t so easy sometimes). 

This might be feeling grateful for a warm breeze on a cold St. Louis freak stormy day, appreciating your abilities in a specific arena, or as simple as your monumental Christmas toy wrapping skills. 

Throughout the past 20 + years, there has been plenty of research on gratitude. Did you know that older people are more grateful than younger people – which suggests gratitude serves an evolutionary purpose, and also shows that gratitude is (and can be) learned with practice.

How can gratitude help me?

Practicing gratitude often can have many positive impacts, including an increased sense of well-being and life satisfaction; positive emotional functioning (such as more pleasurable emotions and thoughts that life is going well); increased optimism; a sense of connectedness; and improved relationships. 

There is also research indicating gratitude can help increase resilience and cope with everyday life stress, as well as with more major adversities.

Gratitude can help mental health – for instance, a depressed mood or working through trauma.

So, how can I use gratitude this Christmas?

If you want to buffer against those little frustrations you experience over the holiday period, and be more resilient to life’s stressors, developing a greater sense of gratitude can help. You can do this by; 

  • writing a thank you note for a gift or behavior you’ve appreciated. It doesn’t have to be handwritten. You can express gratitude via text, or social media.
  • visit someone and thank them in person.
  • keep a daily journal of things you feel grateful for; note them down at the end of each day. 
  • spend time contemplating being grateful for certain activities, such as having a family or friends to spend Christmas with. In other words, thinking about being grateful is also helpful, not just the act of being grateful.

If you can’t be grateful …

With all the best will in the world, it can be difficult to be grateful, the world has a habit of showing us the negative before the positive. When all else fails, smile in the face of adversity, grin, and bear it. You will feel better and over time you will lift yourself and those around you.

Dr. Bagwe is a leading orthopedic surgeon specializing in ankle and foot reconstruction. If you are looking for an orthopedic surgeon near you then look no further. Dr. Bagwe is an industry leader when it comes to foot and ankle surgery doctors in St. Louis. Dr. Bagwe and his friendly and professional team is ready to welcome you and tell you everything you need to know.

Reach out and contact us today.

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