Comfort and joy may be hard to find amid the stress of holiday shopping, wrapping, and baking. So, that’s the very reason you should engage this Christmas in behaviors that bring satisfaction and happiness. There are dozens of brief actions – besides gorging on seasonal treats – that can make you happy without turning to destructive eating habits.
Comfort and Joy are Vital
Feeling comfort and joy isn’t just a good idea. It’s health promoting! Surely, you recognize that a build-up of stress can cause disease. Additionally, health practitioners accept that negative emotion causes imbalance and dysregulation. So, of course, the opposite is veritable: stress-reduction can instigate healing. Calming behaviors bring harmony & balance. Likewise, joy brings healing, connection and a sense of well-being.
But how do you grasp this sense of well-being in the hectic flurry of Christmas preparations? By using your senses. Of course, you know that tasting can bring comfort and joy. That can be a problem during the holiday season when so many rich dishes and treats abound. However, the other four senses can be just as beneficial in helping your feel satisfied and happy.
Seeing Can Dissipate Stress
It only takes a moment to look – really look – for gifts around us that generate gratitude and pleasure. Take time for some of these habits that engender comfort and joy:
- watching the clouds
- immersing yourself in the forest
- surrounding yourself with the sights in a meadow
- staring at pond ripples & reflections
- watching a sunrise
- admiring a sunset
- looking at your favorite photos
- remembering good images in your mind
- watching the rain
- gazing at the ocean or mountains
- looking at Christmas lights
Listen for Sounds of Comfort and Joy
Just as looking helps you bust through stress and appreciate the goodness of life, hearing also brings you to gratitude in the present moment. Here is my list of aural actions for comfort and joy. What favorites can you add to the list?
- playing baby laughter sound bites
- listening to bird songs
- hearing ocean or creek sounds
- turning on your favorite music
- listening to the breeze
- giving compliments
- hearing the rain on the roof
- talking to people
- following a guided meditation
- listening to binaural beats
- hearing crickets chirping
Smell Your Way Out of Stress
Christmas just might be your favorite time of year to enjoy your favorite scents, such as fresh-cut pines or cookies baking. Truly, smells that you experience in childhood during happy events become forever imprinted on your mind. You only need catch a whiff of a certain scent to be transported back to a joyous time. So, why not intentionally put your nose into something delicious. It’s sure you relieve your stress for a moment. Here are some ideas:
- smelling autumn leaves
- smelling the roses
- diffusing aromatherapy oils
- breathing in conifer scents
- smelling rain
- smelling wet earth
- drinking lemon-infused water
- enjoying a cup of herbal tea
- inhaling the smell of dark chocolate shavings
- enjoying scents in a candle shop
- simmering potpourri
Find Comfort and Joy Through Touch
Whether you are feeling the plush of a new shirt or blanket around your arms, or tiptoeing across the carpet on Christmas morning, touch is comforting! When you make yourself aware of the sensations you are feeling, you can experience joy. Take these suggestions as starters and add your own!
- bending and stretching with yoga
- playing with clay
- ice skating
- roller skating
- box breathing
- getting some massage therapy
- having acupuncture
- soaking in an epsom salt bath
- walking barefoot on the grass
- snuggling with a pet
- writing a thank you note
- nurturing friendships
- drawing a picture of your favorite junk food – it can be just as satisfying as eating it!
- finger painting
- engaging in random acts of kindness
- putting together a puzzle
Enjoy the Season!
Now you have 65 ways to find comfort and joy this Christmas! May you connect with loved ones, feel peace, and thrive in health!