Annemarie Ward - Choose Joy
Annemarie is a heart transplant recipient and American Heart Association, volunteer. Watch her story in this video.
It’s the time of year again, where everyone becomes stressed with the upcoming holidays. People worry about travel, having to talk to numerous family members, and making sure the turkey turns out just right. There are a lot of little stresses that consume our minds daily, but they are most evident during the holidays. Sometimes, that stress and worry can consume our joy and we miss out on the importance of Thanksgiving and Christmas. In addition, stress can have a huge toll on the body and heart. According to the American Heart Association on heart.org, “And your body's response to stress may be a headache, back strain, or stomach pains. Stress can also zap your energy, wreak havoc on your sleep and make you feel cranky, forgetful and out of control.” The holidays will always be stressful and I know I am guilty of letting worry take over my mind and body. However, this holiday season, let’s all take a minute to sit back and really practice gratitude. Sometimes, we have to be still in the midst of holiday chaos and think of the most simple of things. Try giving yourself a list of “what little things am I thankful for.” Things as simple as I have warm bed to sleep in, I have amazing parents, or I am thankful I am healthy and alive. We have the choice to choose joy over stress, every day. It is so important to focus on gratitude, that way we can truly live in the moment and not be robbed by stress and worry. Let’s give our heart and bodies a break, by taking a deep breath and changing our perspectives. Hug your mom, tell your spouse you love them, and be thankful… because at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.