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Have you ever thrown a temper tantrum that would rival a toddler’s?

It’s embarrassing, isn’t it?

And yet….

The holiday season seems to bring out those tantrums in the best of us. Whether it’s our kids, our spouse, the pressure of throwing the perfect holiday party…. It gets to us.

So how do we get over it? How do we stop throwing those awful tantrums? Better yet, how do we get our emotions under control?

One quick way that I’ve been getting my emotions under control is spending less than five minutes every morning and evening doing ONE thing.

While I love doing this in the mornings and evenings, it’s also perfect to do at any time (like when your kids are screaming and you find yourself locked in the bathroom with the fan running in hopes to get some peace and quiet for just a second). Yep, it works then, too.

So what is it?

It’s practicing gratitude.

How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You a Calmer Mom

Gratitude can make you take a step back and realize how fortunate you really are.

But more than that, it can give you a new perspective.

I’ve been using this technique with my kids, on my husband, and even in my home. It’s been making “all the difference.” 😉

When your kids are screaming or biting or pinching, think about all the reasons why you love them.

I learned this trick from Amanda at Messy Motherhood (she teaches Mama’s Anger Management, but I also love The Stop Yelling Handbook). She actually cut out yellow hearts and placed them around her house so she would see them and remember why she loved her son (and immediately stop yelling).

By thinking about positive things, you’ll become a more positive person. In addition to making you more positive, gratitude will also calm you down and give you a much-needed dose of perspective. 

Practice gratitude, even when family dinner isn't what you expected

When your spouse tells you that *surprise* he won’t be home for dinner again tonight? Think about how grateful you are for his amazing work ethic.

Yes, family time is important and eating dinner together is a wonderful way to celebrate that family time. But could you plan a family activity on a day when your spouse wouldn’t have a work commitment, like taking the kids to a park on a Sunday afternoon?

By thinking about the things you’re grateful for, you can make those things a priority. It’ll also help you figure out ways to balance everything else so that the important things, like your husband’s job, can continue to be important without “ruining” family time.

Stay calm, even when dinner's not ready

And when you’re ready to cry because you overcooked/undercooked/didn’t cook dinner and the kids are starving? Pause and give yourself a moment to enjoy your kids.

Hug them, take a five-minute break to read a book to them, and then worry about dinner.

Make dinner simple. Pull something out of the freezer and pop it in the Instant Pot while you read (that way you can’t burn it/under cook it/not cook it).

And if you don’t already have something in the freezer? Try the one-week MyFreezEasy challenge to learn how to make easy, fast, foolproof recipes (they even have a slow cooker and Instant Pot menu so there’s no way for you to over cook/under cook the meals – trust me, I needed that, too). 😉 Then be grateful that you were able to put dinner on the table.

When you feel overwhelmed or frustrated, take a second to practice gratitude. Even just changing your thoughts will make a huge difference.

Stressed out this holiday season? This one trick really works to stay calm! Here's how practicing gratitude, even when it's stressful, can help in just a couple minutes a day.