Holidays are stressful. Between travel plans, expenditures, the hype of the season, and general family dysfunction, which always seems to exemplify itself this time of year, it’s easy to say “bah, humbug!” and quickly lock yourself inside until New Year’s passes. Now that Thanksgiving is over and we prepare for the Christmas spirit, try something new this year and find ways to be thankful for the very things that drive you crazy. Easier said than done, right? Don’t worry–we’ve started a list to help you adjust to this perspective.
1. Long work hours? Co-workers dancing on your last nerve? Does the thought of work in general make jumping from the second story window sound not so bad? Try saying this: “I am thankful for the job I have because it means I am employed.” Whether it’s a low-pay, part-time, torture-like job, or a full-time employment, many of us take the opportunity to be employed at all for granted. Remember there are those who are desperate just for the chance to flip burgers at Wendy’s.
2. Stressing over a test? Bombarded with schoolwork piling up on top of you with no end in sight? For just a moment, sit back and say to yourself, “I am grateful for the stress because it means I am pursuing an education.” Children worldwide are deprived of the most basic of learning, let alone a college education. For far too many, knowledge is a dream unobtainable.
3. Feeling under the weather? As the cold weather rolls in, annual congestion and miserableness come with it. Just one more sickness we don’t need on top of everything. However, in the midst of hot tea and cold medicine, remind yourself, “I am thankful for my overall health and the ability to seek treatment when it is necessary.”
4. Relatives jumping down your throat just as they do every year? Criticism, annoying repetitive inquires, sticking their nose into your life a little too far? Around the table this year, be thankful for the loved ones sitting next to and across from you, and tell yourself “I am appreciative of the care and concern they have for me (even if they don’t show it in ways I necessarily appreciate) because many families are leading broken lives.”
5. Having money issues? Retail, unexpected expenses, and yes, of course gas prices, all add up to a total none of us can really afford. Needless to say, the economy hasn’t been our best friend lately. Money ranks number one among the arguments couples have, and remains the sole issue consuming our minds the majority of our day. But take a second glance at the man standing on the street corner with a mug of change and a cardboard box. Reconsider your financial situation and remember “I am grateful that I am able to provide for myself enough to make a living because others are far worse off than I am.”
Most of us tend to give thanks for the things we have and people we love that we just overlook, but what if we tried to give thanks for the things we loathe? The people who drive us insane? The situations that enrage us? This year, in every negative, try and find a positive. And watch how much your attitude will change.