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Gratitude Over Anxiety
4m

Gratitude Over Anxiety

3 anxiety-busting steps to express gratitude.

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- Holiday season can be daunting. It is a mixture of contrasting emotions, and sometimes anxiety and social pressure can cloud our vision to what truly matters most. My name is Richard Bantigue. I'm a visual artist and Marine Corps veteran. Today, I wanna talk about gratitude in the form of giving. I want you to take a moment and reflect on what you value most in your life. For me, it's all about family, and we all know the stress that comes with that. The financial burden it creates, the pressure we feel socially to show the world just how much we love someone. So, here are three easy steps that can help you express your gratitude in the form of giving. Ponder, journal, and act. Number one, ponder. I truly believe that we are all born with an innate talent given to us by God, by the universe, or by a higher form of power that you believe in. As an artist, I have a talent for creating visual compositions that makes others feel certain emotions when they look at my art. And I know sometimes it is difficult to find the inspiration. So, what I'd like you to do is think about what skill sets you have. What are you passionate about doing? Do you remember any creative things you did as a child? Doesn't have to be drawing or painting. Maybe you've developed culinary skills. So, cooking or baking. It's also great skills. Maybe you're an athlete. I know I loved playing basketball growing up in the Philippines. The important thing is to reflect on what you are good at and how you could share this experience to benefit others. Which brings me to step number two. Journal. Now that you've pondered and rediscovered your innate talent, think about how your skills can help others in need during this holiday. Or perhaps make a sentimental impact in someone's life. Write it down. Visualize yourself doing it. And like I said, I value my family the most, especially my wife. We are approaching our 13th year anniversary. For this year, I wanted to do something special for her. Something that I create with my own hands. But that's a surprise. So, let's keep that between us, all right? It's not so much about grand gesture. It's about being thoughtful and expressing your gratitude to benefit others. After writing down what you wanna do, the next step is to act. Now is the time to put the ideas and skills into action. From a small gesture of baking a cake for your special someone, or from a communal level, like volunteering your time to feed underserved communities. It does not matter what capacity. What matters is the impact you will have on the individual. Oh, and how fun would it be to reunite with some old friends playing some basketball? I am sure that after being indoors for a year or two during the pandemic, it would be mentally and physically refreshing to have that personal human connection among friends again. That camaraderie and experience will outlast any expensive material gifts. For example, when I was in the Marines, I used to paint portraits for my fallen brothers and sisters. I would donate each painting to the surviving families by applying my skills and turning it into a small act of giving. I was able to help each family to commemorate their loved ones with grace and honor. So, there's no telling what you can do when you ponder, journal and act. It all starts with you. In today's world of instant gratification and grand gesture, in which sometimes could create financial burdens and peer pressure, let us take a deep breath and shift our focus towards gratitude. Reflect upon the blessings we received from God and apply your talent in a meaningful and intimate way, making a memorable impact on someone's life. Let's celebrate our community, our friends, our family. And thank you. I wish you all spiritual wellness this upcoming holiday season.

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