Happy Thanksgiving! Merry Christmas! With these phrases we wish one another to be happy and merry. Sometimes it’s easier said than done. Happiness doesn’t just occur because the calendar announced the arrival of a holiday. We all just want to be happy and the experience of being merry would be icing on the cake. Here are some tips to help your happiness quota and help you skip a blue Christmas.
Look on the Positive Side
Do you view the glass half full or half empty? We all tend to be naturally more positive or more negative. Many factors cause us to lean one way or another. I know that we all were not dealt the same hand in life but by working on how we view life we can change our responses.
There once were two little boys. One boy was put in a room full of toys. In his negative mindset he didn’t enjoy the toys. He was certain they would break. The other little guy sat in a room full of horse poop. With glee he dug through the mess. He exclaimed, “With all this poop, there has to be a pony in here somewhere!”
How we view things affects our level of happiness. I know it can be a great challenge. (I just failed my own ‘think positively’ challenge from last week.) However, if you fall down, get up and try again. Thinking positively is a choice. It can be a difficult choice but if we consistently choose to look at things from a positive viewpoint our happiness level will rise.
For the remainder of the month, use social media to be positive. Don’t post anything negative. Be proactive and post something positive each day, something that makes you smile or laugh. Then only respond and comment on other people’s posts with positive comments.
Fellowship is Vital
Loneliness can be the enemy of happiness. I’m not talking about quiet time for yourself, I’m talking about feeling alone. Extroverts and introverts alike need rich and satisfying relationships. We all need people in our lives that we call friends. We need people who care about us, enjoy us and understand us. In today’s busy culture true friendships are hard to cultivate but relationships must be developed and nurtured.
Often we wait around for others to pursue us. True happiness does not come from what others do for us but by what we do for others. To have great friends, you must BE a great friend. You will find happiness when you reach out to others. Satisfying relationships will occur when you love first. All of us are longing for relationships with others. YOU be the one to reach out.
This month, choose two people you care about. Make a point to contact them in some way once a day. You can send them an encouraging text or call just to say “Hi.” Make an effort to get together at least once during the holidays. However, remember your first challenge. Stay positive! Do not complain or look to your time together as a time to unload. Be encouraging and be present. Show you care.
Our crazy lives can suck the happiness right out of us. An overly busy holiday is not a recipe for a merry Christmas. Take things off the to-do list. Not everything and every activity deserves your time. I get irritated that everyone feels required to plan an activity, program or service project during the month of December. I only want to remind you that you can choose. Too often we just do, act and preform because it’s on the calendar. If there is no ‘merry’ in your Christmas, pull back and say, “No,”
Step away and breathe. Consider your activities. Are they an absolute must? Do they line up with your purpose in life, your goals and the benefit and happiness of you and your family? Do they truly serve and help others or are they things that can be eliminated?
Give yourself permission to say, “No.”
Avoid the holiday blues. Take steps to find happiness this month. Don’t fall into the trap of defeated thinking. Stay away from thoughts such as, “I hate Christmas!” or “Christmas always gets me down.” You are not doomed to repeat past unhappy holidays. You can choose to be proactive and enjoy the season and enjoy some happiness and feel a little merry. This month, be positive, be a friend and say, “No.”