December 19, 2016

7 Ways to Make the Peace and Joy of the Holiday Season Last All Year

Written by Rachel Eddins

Christmas tree

Whether you live in a big city like Houston with a population of over two million or in a small town with just a few hundred residents, during the holiday season you’re bound to notice that many people try to be more joyous and peaceful.

It’s by no means easy, of course. The holidays can often be hectic and stressful, and that can make the peace and joy that people usually associate with the season somewhat elusive. But once you achieve it and experience how it feels, you may wish it could last all year.

Well, why not make it last?

How to Have Peace and Joy All Year

The fact is, when we feel peaceful and joyous, it improves our whole life. That is a benefit that we should not just reserve for special times of the year, like the holiday season. It should be part of each and every day of our lives.

How can you accomplish this?

Consider 7 ways:

1. Appreciate what you have

Gratitude is excellent for promoting joy – practice it daily. Let go of what is bothering you and make a conscious effort to focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. Keep a written record of what you’re grateful for and journal about the good things happening to you every day.

2. Give yourself a break

Stop beating yourself up when you’re struggling with your imperfections. Stay calm and learn to observe your thoughts and emotions without judging. If you find yourself in a situation where toxic emotions, tension, stress, and conflict arise, strive to not be overly anxious, maintain your inner peace, and perhaps walk away.

3. Focus on the good and positive

Thinking of positive things generates feelings of love and appreciation. Of course, you can’t eliminate all negative things from your life, but you can limit your intake of them. Choose well who you spend your time with and aim to respond peacefully to negative situations or people. The peace and optimism you radiate can be contagious.

4. Adjust your expectations

Always worrying that you’ll fail will actually make it more likely that you will fail. But if you lower what you require of yourself, you can increase your joy. Be modest and learn to just do the best you can, not taking on unrealistic responsibilities. Instead, leave yourself time to recharge and enjoy constructive meditation.

5. Be more understanding of yourself and others

Empathy brings peace. It establishes an emotional bond between people. So, strive to become a peacemaker, actively promoting peace with others. Approach every situation with a peaceful intent, reasonableness, and mildness. Show that you value your relationships with others by being forgiving, quick to make amends, and displaying self-control.

6. Connect with people – just because

Make time for people. They’re far more important than money or possessions. Only people can love you. Therefore, be generous and have friendly and upbuilding conversations with others – family, friends, or even people you don’t now. Do something for someone in need, like helping a neighbor or doing volunteer work. You’ll experience the joy of giving — especially if you do it without expecting anything in return.

7. Seek to respond in new ways

Automatic responses keep you from renewing yourself and being open to new possibilities. Pause a moment, think, and open your eyes. Step outside your limited awareness and learn to live in the now. Approach new situations and people with the curiosity of a child, willing to explore new prospects and adventures.

If you endeavor to put as much effort into finding peace and joy all year as you may put into it during the holiday season, you’ll surely reap the benefits. It certainly isn’t a vain pursuit – it’s something that will enrich your life without any repercussions.

Click to read more about cultivating gratitude or how to reduce stress this holiday season. Happy Holidays!!

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