Christmas is a special time of the year when we sing "You to the World"; but for many the stress and pressure of the holiday season tends to overshadow the joy in their world. If you would like to know how to add more joy to your life this holiday season here are some suggestions worth considering. One of the keys to experiencing joy more fully is to practice healthy habits that enhance joy more fully is to practice healthy habits that enhance joy while eliminating those negative habits that make you feel awful instead of joyful.
One excellent holiday habit to adopt is gratitude. Multiple scientific studies have demonstrated the overall health benefits of maintaining an attitude of gratitude. One of the interesting findings in these studies is that wealth does not bring happiness and joy. In fact, the most happy and joyful people were not the wealthiest; but rather those of modest means who remained grateful for what they have. in Addition to improving your emotional health, gratitude can also improve your mental health as well. An especially helpful benefit of gratitude around the holidays is that practicing an attitude of gratitude reduces depression and the tendency to over-eat. Giving is another excellent way to enhance your joy this holiday season. It has been said that it is more blessed to give than to receive and I find that to be especially true around the holidays. When we become preoccupied with ourselves, we miss the tremendous blessing it is to give to others. Practicing joy is a bit like practicing tennis, you have to be good at "serving" if you want to be successful! Giving does not necessarily mean buying presents, in fact, one of the greatest gifts you can give someone is kindness and understanding. Practice giving to others this year and you will be amazed at how it enhances your joy.
When it comes to identifying negative habits that end to steal joy, two come to mind: complaining and over-committing. In fact, much of the complaining I hear people do is because they have over-committed themselves and they now feel guilty and frustrated as a result. Learn to resist the temptation to say "yes" to every request and be more thoughtful and intentional when making commitments with your time. If you do so, you are more likely to enjoy those activities that you have committed to while at the same time avoiding the frustration created when you are overwhelmed by your over-commitment. Practicing an attitude of gratitude and giving to others will definitely add more joy to those around you while at the same time adding more joy to your world!