Many Words to Say One Thing

The holidays can be incredibly stressful or the most fun you’ve ever had—the choice is yours—and in case you’ve forgotten, it is a choice.

Remember, your brain does not know the difference between reality and pretend. If you start acting as if you are enjoying all the hustle and bustle surrounding this busy time, your brain will flood your system with feel good chemicals and in short order, your mood will match your act. Conversely, if you’ve decided to present your own rendition of Ebenezer Scrooge with your face as the stage, your brain will send sour chemicals to match. (It’s as if your brain scolds you like a parent, “You want to be grouchy? I’ll give you something to be grouchy about!”)

It turns out that the very best thing you can do to guarantee a low stress holiday season is to SMILE!!!!

Could it really be that simple? Oh, yes!

Remember, the Law of Attraction says you get more of what you focus on. When you focus on the simple act of smiling, it signals the universe that you want to be in a good mood. Ask and ye shall receive! The more you smile the more circumstances you attract that are a match to your desire!

Don’t take my word for it. Spend the rest of the day putting a smile on your face and watch what happens. Do it even if you’re alone (unless people can observe you—in that case tone it down a bit or they may think you’ve snapped!)

Here are some other easy-to-implement techniques to decrease the stress of the holidays:

Enjoy watching others having a good time. Last night I went shopping at a local mall. When my feet started to hurt, I took a break and sat down near a playground cleverly installed by mall management to enable parents to stay longer. I soon became fascinated by one little girl in a purple dress and tights who looked to be just shy of two years old. She had picked the slide as her favorite piece of equipment. Over and over, as Dad looked on, she climbed the four steps to the top and slid down. Over and over, when she got to the bottom and stood up, she shrieked with laughter and danced her way back to the ladder. She wasn’t just happy. She was happy with her WHOLE body! And you know what? Because of her, I was happier when I left to resume my shopping (and I really don’t like to shop!)

Act as if you’re on top of everything. One of our favorite pastimes, holidays or not, is impressing others with just how busy we are. We compare schedules and “to do” lists in an effort to win the “most burdened person alive” contest.

What we forget, as we regale others with our tales of woe, is that doing this only makes it worse. (What are you attracting?) Instead, start acting as if you’ve got it all handled. You know you’re going to get it done; don’t you always? So you’re already pretending—you’re pretending you might fail. Instead, put those shoulders back and stride forth confidently with the knowledge that you will get it done and it will be “no sweat.”

Sing (or whistle or hum) carols. When you sing, it signals your brain you are in a good mood (unless you’re humming dirges and if you are, stop right now!) No need to tell you again what the brain does when it thinks you’re in a good mood. Just enjoy the results!

Even though I’m suggesting you do more (and who needs that?!?) by putting these techniques into play, I promise that, when you do, everything else you have on your long list will become much easier (and quicker!) to do.

This column could have been one word: ENJOY!!!

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