Published December 1, 2017
As we approach the holidays, this is the time for celebration. Webster Dictionary defines Celebration: to celebrate by observing (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities.
Holidays can be fun or stressful. It all depends on how you manage your thoughts.
Positive thinking, happy thoughts have a positive effect:[i]
- Supports a healthy brain
- Stimulates the growth of nerve connections
- Cognition by increasing mental productivity
- Your ability to analyze and think
- Affects the perspective of your surroundings
- Increases attentiveness
- Creates more happy thoughts
Happy people are more creative, solve problems faster, are more mentally alert and the most important benefit is that people love to be around happy people. Sounds pretty good to me, especially around the holidays.
- There are four primary chemicals in the brain that effect happiness[ii]:
I would say this is a social behavior “Happy” cocktail. Being happy allows you to enjoy the moment. To experience the good things about family, friends and the reason for the season. The holidays can bring on stress that we usually do not experience during the rest of the year. Sometimes the stress can be too much, and it becomes difficult to have a positive experience.
We may have bad memories or experiences that challenge us during this time. These negative thoughts are powerful. They can make or break your holidays. Negative thoughts create negative actions. The words you say to yourself or others creates a mood. This negative mood disturbs your interaction with your environment. It affects your ability to perceive, remember, and reinforce existing or create new negative neural connections. It may put your mind in a state of little to no hope. There are people who have a more positive outlook, but most us remember negative things more strongly and in more detail.[iii] One study showed that 79% of medical students report developing symptoms suggestive of the illnesses they are studying. Because they get paranoid and think they’ll get sick, their bodies comply by getting sick.[iv] As a dear friend of mine would say “the point is”, negative thoughts are toxic. Your brain is very powerful, and your thoughts are alive. They can either make you or break you. It is a matter of choice.
The holidays are here, and we have an opportunity to make it a joyful experience. It may be difficult due to circumstances that you have no control over, such as a loss of a loved one. It will be bitter sweet. Yet within the grief, grasp the positive moments. Look around you and see what you do have. In any circumstance find the good and positive moments. Don’t let those negative thoughts hold you down. Hold on to those moments that are good and cherish them.
Until next time, take care.
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[i] Psychology Today: Susan Reynolds –https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/prime-your-gray-cells/201108/happy-brain-happy-life
[ii][ii] Technology Advice: Nicole Lazzaro – http://technologyadvice.com/blog/information-technology/activate-chemicals-gamify-happiness-nicole-lazzaro/
[iii] PsychCentral: Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW – https://pro.psychcentral.com/are-some-people-predisposed-to-negative-thinking/0014452.html
[iv] Mindbodygreen: Dr. Lissa Rankin –https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9690/scientific-proof-that-negative-beliefs-harm-your-health.html