As the holidays come around, inevitably hassles increase—exponentially. But just imagine you could handle every problem that comes your way. Long lines at the post office, delayed flights, family disputes, illness—no matter the difficulty, imagine you could grit your teeth and overcome it. In the face of adversity, you could resolve every fear and relieve any pain or stress.
Surely, you'd be happy then, right?
Not necessarily. According to psychological research, being able to cope with adverse events have little to do with being able to find joy in positive ones. In other words, just because you're not down doesn't mean you're up. And just because good things happen doesn't mean you necessarily enjoy or appreciate them. Instead, finding joy is both an art and a science, and we can learn to excel at it.
4 Tips to Enhance Your Holidays:
- Make it about family and friends.
Holidays – religious or otherwise – are always an opportunity to bring family and friends together. Instead of planning around the big meal, plan around the arrival of your guests. Try to include them in your preparations and remind them that although you're happy to share a good meal, you're even happier to share their company.
- Rediscover your faith.
Holidays are a commercial enterprise in the United States. No matter what your religion and which holidays you celebrate, it can be easy to get caught up in all the gifts, treats, and stuff people are trying to sell you. Instead of jumping on the commercial bandwagon, use this time as an opportunity to do something spiritual. It's your decision on how you define spirituality, whether that means going to church or synagogue or merely taking a long walk.
- Get out of the house.
Even if you have the best intentions, you're bound to find yourself with a house full of food over the holiday. The best way to avoid temptation is to remove yourself from it. At the very least, you can make up for your indulgences by getting a little exercise. Take your family or friends and go for a walk or to a museum – in other words, go somewhere other than the kitchen, the dining room, or a restaurant.
- Share your good feelings with others.
Whether you're clearing the table with close friends or walking through a meadow with your sweetheart, tell the person with you what you appreciate about the moment. Sharing is the strongest predictor of the level of enjoyment someone feels. Studies of people's reactions to positive life events have found that those who share their positive feelings with friends have higher levels of overall happiness than people who do not share their feelings.
And remember that no matter what you do, health is all about the "long-run."
Wishing you a happy holiday season.
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PLEASE NOTE: The information provided in on our blog is for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Please consult a physician on all matters concerning your medical care.