Dear Dr. Marissa,
I hate the holidays. Drivers are crazy, people shopping are rude, my family is nuts and I never get what I want. When I am not irritated and frustrated I am sad and depressed because I miss my family and friends who are now gone. How can I lose my holiday blues?
—Signed, Skip the Holidays
The good news is that you are not alone. The bad news is, you are going to lose out on two months of potential joy, love, kindness, care, compliments, warmth, smiles, laughter, connection, service, peace and happiness. When you focus on all of the real downsides of the holidays, and I am not saying that everything you are frustrated about isn’t happening, because it is, but, if that’s all you see then unfortunately that is exactly all you will see.
It’s called the Pygmalion Effect (sorry still a psychologist by training), which is the opposite of the expression “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Scientists are now verifying the super power called the human mind, which can actually limit what you see by what you believe!
The most irreverent example I use is that if you get cut off in traffic at the same time by two drivers and one is a European man and the other is an Asian woman, guess who you see?!
If you hold the stereotype, then you will easily see the latter (but it’s not me by the way)! So what does this have to do with holiday blues?
Well if you choose to see the holidays through blue-colored glasses, then you will definitely see all of the downsides of the holiday rush.
You will encounter more rude and more bad drivers guaranteed.
But what if you make an effort to look for the good, to focus on the upside of the holidays? Then you will encounter more examples of the Season of Joy. What if the holidays are a chance to hug folks that you haven’t seen in a while and celebrate the fact that the ones you don’t like you don’t have to see that often?
What if you can see the airport as a collection of people who are going to get to be with family just like you and isn’t that wonderful that we have the ability to fly and travel on planes?
What if the laughter that comes from making fun of you in one more telling of a family story is your way of helping people get in touch with their funny bone? What if you play dysfunctional holiday bingo with a friend and try to guess how many inevitable awkward questions you will get to answer over the holidays, which you can make a game of instead of getting triggered by them?
What if the typical terrible gifts that people give you are just symbols of love and caring and you can appreciate them as such?
What if we can remember our loved ones who have passed with stories of how they taught us about love instead of tormenting ourselves with memories of their last day or last year of suffering on earth? And finally what if this year, can we give a two minute back scratch or shoulder massage to those who do spend days preparing for the food and festivities instead of just a quick thank you? What if instead of spending days buying the “perfect gift” we sat down and wrote a perfect “Thank You for” note which we read to those who love us the very best that they can. What if this Season of Joy, we choose to EnJoy InJoy for ourselves and everyone around us, for then, we can have peace on Earth!
Dr. Marissa, your personal advocate from more Hope and Happiness, and Host of the 2016 Podcast of the Year Top 10 in Health Award winning show “Take My Advice, I’m Not Using It: Get Balanced with Dr. Marissa” broadcasting out of the Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood at UBN Radio/TV and syndicated on CNBC/NBC News Radio channel KCAA and IHeart Radio. If you missed my interview with Fran Drescher or Corey Feldman, subscribe on YouTube and go to www.4Balance.org to sign up for Life Balance Coaching on the beach for Happiness 88 percent of the time.