The upcoming holiday season presents a wonderful opportunity to spend time with loved ones. When we see family and friends we enjoy, interactions are easy. But what about those relatives with whom you have little in common or simply don’t see eye to eye? Being with them can be downright stressful.

How do we ensure a stress-free and relaxed visit?

The law of attraction states that like attracts like. When our energy toward someone feels negative, whether it be anxiety, frustration, annoyance, or anger, we attract similar energy. However, when we feel gratitude, we attract more positive energy toward ourselves and our relationships. The key is in shifting our perspective to get the results we desire. Try this simple but effective way to create tension-free, enjoyable holiday visits using an attitude of gratitude.

We’ve all heard of gratitude journals but I’ve discovered a more powerful and speedier way to create a perspective change. I love a process called Gratitude Points. I use it often with coaching clients dealing with uncomfortable situations or difficult people in their lives. It’s based on research that shows that people connect on many different levels; not just verbally and physically, but energetically and spiritually as well. Here’s the really important piece – you can use this process to shift the energy and your feelings towards challenging people without being inauthentic to yourself and without denying what you’re feeling.

How it works:
Find three things each day for which to be grateful regarding the difficult person. It can even be simple like; they once ran an errand for you or they loaned you a book. Find anything about the person for whom you can be grateful. Expressing gratitude for little things doesn’t deny the larger issue or invalidate past hurts- it simply opens the door to a positive energy and relationship shift … and more importantly, inner peace!

Write three different gratitude points every day. Once you create your daily list, pause and allow yourself to really feel gratitude for just a moment. After completing three weeks or more, observe how you feel about the person or situation and see if anything has changed. Notice how that person reacts to you or if the situation has shifted in any way. Expect interactions to feel easier, lighter, and less stressful!

While this exercise is excellent for dealing with difficult people or situations, it’s also wonderful for boosting awareness of otherwise unnoticed, small, yet beautiful moments we experience each day.


Challenge yourself to write down three things for which you are grateful without repeating anything twice. Some examples are: I’m grateful I hit that detour coming home from work because I saw gorgeous flowers along a side street I never knew existed. Or, I was grateful to that guy who made me laugh out loud in the elevator today. It shifted me out of a grumpy mood.

Gratitude points help us appreciate all the marvelous gifts life has to offer and makes the holidays more festive, stress free and fun to celebrate!

Linda Mitchell Coaching and Healing - Linda Mitchell Her self
About the Author

Linda Mitchell, Board Certified Professional Coach, Reinvention Expert and founder of  Linda Mitchell Coaching and Healing has been coaching and practicing for over 20 years operating from a deep desire to help people move through life’s challenges and transitions with more ease and grace, less anxiety and stress. Her unique “Reinvention Program” helps people who are stuck, in pain or ready for change to reclaim balance, better health and gain clarity on their next meaningful role with more purpose, fulfillment confidence and Ease.

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