Gratefulness in the New Year

Bringing in the New Year can also bring mixed feelings with it.

For some, it’s a time of celebration and anticipation for what the year may bring. For others, it can be a time of reflection on both the ups and downs of what the past year has yielded.

Despite what kind of year you may have had, a positive way to kick things off in the New Year is to find things to be grateful for – and there’s always something!
So, grab a pen and paper, put on your thinking cap, and start finding those positives – small or large.

Here are a few examples you can use to get started.

Something that has positively impacted your life

What positively impacts your life might look different from person to person. It might be that you got a new pet you’ve spent time with, celebrated a new promotion, or started a new sport. Reflect on what has brought positivity to your life – experience, person, or thing – and make sure you keep it going for the New Year.

A challenge you overcame

Life is full of challenges, but it’s also full of strong and resilient people. What’s something you struggled with or a situation you faced that you’re grateful you overcame? You might have mastered a new skill, solved a significant problem, or did something to challenge yourself and succeeded. Bask in that success and be grateful for it.

Connections you made and/or kept

People can have such a great influence on our social, personal, and professional lives. The connections we make – good and bad – all have an impact on our lives and building and maintaining great relationships is always something to be grateful for. The people around us help to shape us, so celebrate those people and their part in your life.

Little things that made you smile

There are lots of a little moments that can happen within an entire year, and when we’re lucky enough, those little things can make us smile. Did you do a good deed that made someone’s day? Did you find the world’s cutest animal and get to pet it? Did you discover the best cuisine you never knew existed? If it made you smile, it’s worth your gratitude.

Things you may have taken for granted

Throughout life’s fast-paced nature, there are a lot of things you may go about your life taking for granted. That might be having somewhere warm to sleep, having a job you love, or simply having the ability to eat three square meals. When you’re struggling for things to be grateful for, strip it back to bare basics to truly take stock of what’s around you.

How the Weather Can Change Your Mood

Are you someone who dreads the icy winds of winter and relishes in the sunshine? Or maybe someone who adores the cold and hides away from the heat? Can the weather change your mood? 

Whichever season you may prefer, the weather can affect your mood more than you realize, making you more or less likely to do things like help others, be social, or even get a date! 

What happens to your mood in the heat?

Warmer, sunny days are often associated with positive experiences such as socializing, weather-dependent outings like a visit to the beach, and the ability to get more things done outdoors giving a sense of achievement and fulfilment. 

But, studies show that rising temperatures and hotter days can actually cause some people to become more aggressive. These studies have found that incidents of aggression such as violent crimes, riots, and even road rage increases during hotter days, and even more so on humid days. 

What happens to your mood in the cold?

SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is a very real thing experienced by hundreds of thousands of people. SAD is a disorder linked with changes in seasons that causes people to experience symptoms of depression in the colder months leading to a decline in mood, motivation, energy levels and general wellbeing. It is thought to happen when there is less of the hormone melatonin (absorbed by sunlight on the skin) and less vitamin D which produces the ‘happy hormone’, serotonin. 

SAD can cause people to: 

  • Lose interest in their usual activities 
  • Sleep more due to a lack of energy 
  • Feel slow, sluggish and agitated 
  • Impede on concentration levels 
  • Experience depressive thoughts 

Although not everyone’s mood in the cold is caused by SAD, there are other factors linked to less positive moods during the cold such as reduced motivation to get outside, socialize, exercise and seek out positive experiences.

A happy medium 

Mild winters and summers that offer some reprieve from extreme heat tend to be the preference for most people. Temperate conditions generally offer more opportunities to get outdoors, explore, engage in physical activity and make the most of the daylight. 

Whatever your weather personality, it’s a great idea to keep mindful and aware of your shifting moods that may be linked to the seasons and get a jump on how you let it affect you.

Change your mood 

A regular massage can also do wonders for your mood, of course. Book one today with any of our highly trained therapists!