As we’re in the gift-giving season, I was reminded of the Kodak commercials that popularized the phrase “the gift that keeps on giving”—meaning something that invokes good feelings over time.
I’m still working on a few items on my shopping list, but I was also thinking of presents that we can give to ourselves. I have one family member who buys what she wants, wraps the presents, and places them under the tree. She knows what she wants, and gets it! (We’ll keep her identity anonymous, but I resemble that remark!).
So my message this week in the midst of multiple holiday celebrations is to give yourself a gift that will keep on giving. Here’s why. When you give yourself a gift – whether it be some time to catch up with a good friend, or a massage, or an afternoon curled up with a good book, or treating yourself to some flowers – your brain says:
“I’m important enough to be appreciated…
I’m worthy to be pampered…
I’m able to receive love!”
Self-compassion expert Kristin Neff speaks of self-compassion activating the oxytocin-opiate system in the body—and when the oxytocin-opiate system in our body is amped up, we ruminate less … and when we ruminate less, we have less depression and anxiety … something the world could do with less of, especially after a year like this one!
So, what’s your gift to yourself this holiday season? Something that will keep on giving. Something that will activate your self-compassion and boost your brain’s oxytocin-opiate system.
Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happiest of Holidays to you all!