The holiday season can be overwhelming for all of us. The dining table conversations. Purchasing gifts. Eating too much food. Dealing with the cold weather. The hustle. The bustle.

All of it.

It’s triggering.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy teaches us to anticipate big emotions and also teaches us skills to use if and when we are triggered. If you dig into the DBT skills, you can find a lot of preventive measures to take, as well, to create a higher baseline of emotional tolerance. Mindfulness, for example, is a great preemptive tool to use for emotion regulation before situations escalate and negative spirals occur.

Research in the field of positive psychology suggests that mindfully recording and sharing gratitude is a surefire way to increase your overall wellness for an extended amount of time.

The following activity is proven to have long-lasting, positive effects on your well-being.

I introduce to you, the Gratitude Letter: A positive psychology intervention!

Do this activity…increase your personal well-being AND increase someone else’s well-being!

Step 1:

Think of someone who has made a positive impact on your life.

Step 2:

Write them a letter about how and why they’ve made a positive impact on your life. You can share how their words and actions have affected you, but really be mindful about keeping the intention of the letter about them, not you.
Why are they important to you?
What do they do that inspires you?
What characteristics of theirs do you try to emulate in your own life?

Step 3:

Share the letter with its intended recipient. You can mail or email the letter for slight increases in well-being, but in order to find the most benefit from this exercise, go to the recipient in person, on video chat, or by phone and read to them what you have written. Share in the emotion it arises in both of you. Be vulnerable. Accept gratitude in return.

And that’s it! A boost of sustained well-being to help get you through a holiday slump!