Holidays, no matter how much stress may accompany them, still end up being most people’s favorite time of the year. It’s no secret that this happiness is largely due to time off from the monotony of work, but it’s also in part to quality family time, presents, and celebrations. The irony is that sometimes we get so caught up in perfectly planning for all these things that we forget to thoroughly enjoy them.
Here are two simple concepts and suggestions to focus on during this holiday season in order to make it a truly happy one:
1. Giving — Giving to others has been scientifically proven, time and time again, to improve one’s personal happiness. I would push you to think of gifts outside of the box, literally, and place more value in experiences over products. Maybe this holiday season it’s time to show those closest to you some love by making dinner reservations, or buying those concert tickets they’ve always wanted. Maybe it’s also time to take it a step further and donate warm clothes or volunteer at a shelter. When we give to our loved ones and to our community, we experience their happiness, and we get happiness in return.
2. Savoring — Savoring individual moments are key to really enjoying the holiday festivities. Whether it’s simply sitting around the fireplace with your family, or going out to a big holiday party, it’s important to soak it in. This means slowing things down a bit, and absorbing things like the infamous smell of your favorite hot cocoa, or the beautifully decorated and lit up city streets and homes. Research shows that when we mindfully engage and pay attention to what we’re doing, we enjoy it much more. So remember to absorb, appreciate, and really savor great holiday moments.
All in all, If we are able to both give something meaningful and savor great moments during the holidays, we will enjoy our experiences much more, and thus of course, increase our happiness.
HAPPY Holidays Everyone!