Archive for December, 2014

Reflecting on 2014

Monday, December 15th, 2014

This time of year is marked by so many rich holiday traditions and celebrations! It is a festive and fun time filled with parties, gifts, twinkling lights, an abundance of special foods and treats, and little children with wide eyes standing in line to talk to Santa. December is a month filled to the brim with special music, shopping to find the perfect gift for a loved one and preparing for the holiday time we will be sharing with family and friends.

As we see the calendar year coming to an end, it is also the time that we pause and reflect back on what the past 12 months have meant to us.   For some, the year may have surpassed their expectations and been a year they will always remember fondly with a warm heart and smile. But, for others it may have been a year marked by struggles and difficulties, and thus a year they are eager to put behind them. Life is a chaotic mix for all of us, including great years filled with happy memories and good times, as well as those marked by negative events or sadness. It is part of the human experience to know both the moments that are filled with joy and happiness and those colored by sadness or struggles.

It is important to be able to be grateful for the good times in life, and the blessings we see all around us.  An “Attitude of Gratitude” is a healthy motto to attach to our daily lives.  Research has clearly shown the many health benefits from keeping gratitude front and center in our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors.  It helps to promote wellness on many levels and increase our zest for living.

However, when times get tough and we experience challenges in life, getting to the “gratitude-thing” can be almost impossible.   But, in fact,  that is exactly the time that we need it the most!  Finding something to be grateful for in the middle of the negative event or difficult situation is very healing and helps us reframe things in a more positive light.  It also gives us hope for a better tomorrow and allows us to see that there are brighter days ahead.

So, as 2014 draws to a close and you reflect back on the past year and how it has colored your world, remember to also focus on gratitude, for the good times and the joy it has brought into your life.  And, if the year has been marked by not-such-happy-times, gratitude can help us find the bright spot and focus on the hope of better times to come.

Have a blessed holiday season as you celebrate the rich traditions with dear friends and family.

Best wishes for good health and happiness in 2015!

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