|If you can't see this e-mail properly, view it online|
E-Quipped to... Be Happy This Christmas
Christmas time (even if you don’t actually celebrate Christmas, but rather just enjoy the holiday period) can be difficult at the best of times, with heightened financial pressures, loneliness, anxiety and depression for many. With the COVID pandemic still making it difficult to travel, and to be with family and friends, many people are anticipating another unhappy Christmas season.
So what can we do to make it a happier time?
Image by: Jon Newman
Psychological research has found that our happiness does not depend so much on our circumstances (owning that new model phone, having a bigger house etc.), as it does on a few simple habits like:
The BBC Radio Happiness Challenge, which aimed to get people to try out simple actions to improve their happiness, asked people to do three things for one week:
Recent scientific research has shown that doing these things can have a positive impact on our feelings of happiness and fulfilment, so this Christmas I encourage you to take up the challenge for at least one week.
You might want to download and use the Happiness Challenge workbook, or you might prefer to do it your own way. There is no ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ way because after all happiness is subjective and means different things for different people. The aim is to try to boost your wellbeing in order to feel happier, feel more positive emotions and feel more joy.
Let’s consider these three simple actions you can do this Christmas.
Many of us spend a lot of our time focused either on the past or on the future, paying very little attention to what is happening right now. Being mindful involves staying in the moment, spending more time noticing what's going on both inside ourselves and in our surroundings. Rather than trying to change things, mindfulness involves accepting things the way they are.
This Christmas period do a simple 10-minute mindfulness meditation each day. You could choose to do a form of meditation you already know or find a mindfulness meditation on the internet.
Being grateful is about much more than just saying thank you – it's about not taking things for granted and having a sense of appreciation and thankfulness for life.
Each day write down three good things that happened. Include why you felt each of the things was good. They can be anything you feel good about or grateful for. Even on a bad day, there are normally some things that we can feel good about. I encourage you to talk to your family or friends about your three good things and ask them about theirs.
Taking time to be grateful is not about ignoring the bad things – it just helps us focus our attention more on the positive, rather than dwell on the negative.
Doing things to help others is not only good for the recipients - it has a positive payback for our happiness and health too. When people experience kindness it also makes them kinder as a result – so kindness is contagious!
As the saying goes: "If you want to feel good, do good"
This Christmas perform an extra act of kindness each day. The act may be large or small and the recipient may not even be aware of it. Ideally, your acts of kindness should be beyond the kind things you already do on a regular basis. Try to make it a different act of kindness each day.
Being mindful, grateful and kind may be things you already do, in which case pay them particular attention this Christmas and perhaps do them in a different way. If they are not things that you already do, and you find them helpful, you may want to make them part of your ongoing routine.
"Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions"
As a final note, although I do want you to feel more happiness and joy this Christmas, and onwards, I am not suggesting that you have to be happy ALL the time. It’s ok to feel sad, anxious and fearful at times. Sad and bad things happen and having the courage to allow yourself to feel the appropriate emotions at the appropriate times is also part of health and wellness.
Wishing you a happy and meaningful Christmas Time.
Thank you for the Feedback
Thanks to Shelley, Debbie, Linda and Jonathan for the feedback after the last newsletter.
Want to Help Others?
Forward this e-mail to a friend who you think would benefit.
About These Emails
You may have been forwarded this email by a friend. In that case, allow me to introduce myself. I am a psychologist, speaker, trainer, coach and hat lover based in Kloof, a suburb of Durban, South Africa. I also do online counselling and coaching and I have clients all over the world.
On my website, you'll find lots of free articles, posters and worksheets. I have written and created them all with the intention of helping you find your inner winner. Read them, use them, share them!
Click here to read previous newsletters and subscribe to receive my free newsletters (no more than 12 a year).
Contact me for more information or visit my website:
+27 82 491 1136
|The email was sent to:
Not interested anymore?
Email address changed?
© 2013 Claire Newton | anti-spam statement