I can’t believe we are rounding out 2017 in just a handful of days. The shortest day of the year is here and now the sun starts to return and bring us longer days slowly but surely.
I am at a stage in life where I don’t really need much of anything so Christmas presents aren’t what interests me at this time of the year. My life has been full and the universe has been providing for me in great abundance. I love to give presents but I always want them to be something useful and appropriate. So I thought I would give you three ‘presents’, wishes really, for you in the coming year.
- Resilience. I don’t know about you but I find people talking more and more about feeling stressed and anxious. I prioritize time in my day that will give me the breathing room to de-stress. Mindfulness practices can be very helpful but research shows that simple things like humour, supportive socializing, and exercise are all great ways to maintain and increase your resilience. So if you can, find a way to laugh every day and share that laugh with a loved one (or even a stranger) … and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Empathy. Keep your right supramarginal gyrus healthy! The latest neuroscience research tells us that we can increase our empathy but ironically it is when we feel the most comfortable and secure that our ability to empathize is the most compromised. “Without a properly functioning supramarginal gyrus, your brain has a tough time putting itself in someone else’s shoes” according to an article in Psychology Today. In a world where political and social conflict seems to be increasing, it is our ability to remember we are humans, to feel our own and each other’s pain, frustration, and anxiety that will get us through tough times and help us to have rich loving relationships.
- Hope. Neuroscience to the rescue again. Research has shown that the feeling of hope activates the same neural pathways as medication and is associated with healing. Even if it’s the placebo effect, hope is an important part of our emotional well-being. When feeling that hope is too much to ask, we can try for gratitude. There is always something to be grateful for and once you are in the habit of looking for those things, your list will grow and grow as will the quality of your life.
2017 has been a year of global turmoil, political changes, and uncertainty about the future. Thus I hope you like these wishes. May you and your loved ones find peace, health, and lots to laugh about in 2018. Bless you all.
“We, Angels and Mortals,Believers and Non-believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud. Peace.”
– Maya Angelou