Psychological tips to enjoy a Merry Christmas

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David Holt
Psychological tips to enjoy a Merry Christmas

Christmas is a time longed for by many and at the same time little expected by so many others. Christmas carols speak of joy and love, the reason for the existence of these holidays, but for some people these concepts are very far from a holiday that can cause them feelings of stress and nostalgia. Today we talk about why Christmas can trigger negative feelings and how we can enjoy it again as an opportunity to live good times.

Contents

  • How do you get a Merry Christmas?
  • The why of the Christmas sadness
  • Tips to live a merry Christmas
  • Focus on the present moment
  • Plan ahead
  • Avoid conflicts
  • Lower our expectations
    • Links of interest

How do you get a Merry Christmas?

A merry Christmas is what we all wish for each other, but what makes a truly merry Christmas? Perhaps the study carried out by Tim Kasser and Kennon M. Sheldon will clarify some answers for us. These researchers raised the idea that despite the importance of the Christmas holiday in different cultures, few studies had investigated the experiences that make this holiday pleasant or not..

So they asked individuals between the ages of 18 and 80 about what made these parties positive. Of all the participants, three-quarters said they had a satisfactory Christmas, while 10% said the opposite. The remaining 44% considered they had felt stressed but at the same time satisfied.

What factors had contributed to the different perceptions of the participants? The researchers found that it was family and spiritual activities that made Christmas desirable, while financial spending and materialism made them feel stressed and less joyful..

In addition, the stress caused by obligations at Christmas seems to affect more women, who are, in great majority, those who tend to carry the weight of the celebration and preparations for family reunions on their shoulders, being the ones who feel the most anxiety they experience.

The reason for the Christmas sadness

Despite the fact that for many, Christmas is the best time of the year, we all know the other side of these holidays: the Christmas blues. Christmas carols, decorations, gatherings and gifts can sometimes be clouded by a feeling of nostalgia and dissatisfaction that makes some people prefer to avoid these holidays or launch the typical "I hate Christmas".

Christmas is usually magical seasons in our childhood, moments full of hope and joy that are recorded in our adult memory as something that was left behind and that we will never live with so much emotion..

The passage to adulthood may have brought changes, family losses or problems that can inevitably make us compare those Christmases of the past with those of the present. This causes some people to feel frustrated and unwilling to celebrate a party that they no longer find the same reason for being as before due to high expectations..

Tips to live a merry Christmas

This mix of nostalgia and stress from having to endure too many obligations makes Christmas can choke for some people. To be able to carry them forward and enjoy them:

Focus on the present moment

When we relive these festivals each year, we can be overwhelmed by the memories that we retain from our childhood or times past. Perhaps the people who accompany us are no longer the same and / or due to fate, these meetings bring us memories that may hurt us in some way..

Making an effort to return to the present moment and value what surrounds us today, the people around us and the moments that are yet to be lived, can make us more aware of the moment we are living and manage to enjoy it as it deserves, focused on the present and in enjoying our environment to make it more pleasant, as well as making other people happier thanks to our attitude. Since what we live now will also become a precious future memory that we will remember with joy at some point.

Plan ahead

We finish the summer holidays and return to the routine without being aware of the passing of the days. When we least expect it, Christmas is upon us without blinking and we are immersed in a confusing spiral of shopping and consumerism, as well as parties and their preparations..

The economic expense to which we are almost forced at this time contributes greatly to increasing our stress levels.

A good remedy to avoid falling into this situation is to plan things in advance. Put a realistic cap on the expense we want to raise and carry out the preparations days or weeks in advance so that the situation does not escape from our control and we can live the holidays with greater fluidity and tranquility.

If we see that the situation overwhelms us or that we are overloaded with responsibilities that fall mostly on us, we should not hesitate to ask for help from others so that this work is more equitable and less stressful for a single person.

Avoid conflicts

Although it is desirable to spend the holidays exclusively with people with whom we have a loving relationship, sometimes we inevitably have to meet relatives or friends with whom we do not have a good understanding. In this case, it is normal for conflicts and arguments to arise that contribute to our lack of desire to live these parties..

A good option to not allow these conflicts to affect us is to try to avoid them by default. That is, to become aware that this can happen and prepare a neutral response to conflictive situations. Something like "I prefer that we talk about this at another time", as well as retiring offering our help in the kitchen or calling a friend on the phone.

Lower our expectations

Sometimes we think about parties in which everything will be perfect and we allow ourselves to be carried away by too high expectations. Expectations that can contrast with a reality full of setbacks and defects that can release us to a great extent. Understanding that things cannot go perfectly and that plans can falter is essential in order not to fall into frustration and value the things that do remain in our lives and make us happy.

Christmas can be stressful, but also a very special time, especially for the little ones. We can learn to re-enjoy them more or at least, to put aside negative feelings by carrying out other types of habits such as those described above. So that this Christmas will become a precious memory in our future lives.

Links of interest

  • William Reville: The hidden psychology of Christmas. 2015. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/william-reville-the-hidden-psychology-of-christmas-1.2457482.
  • What makes for a merry Christmas? Tim Kasser and Kennon M. Sheldon. http://web.missouri.edu/~sheldonk/pdfarticles/JOHS02.pdf.
  • Understanding & Coping with the Christmas Blues Darlene Lancer. https://psychcentral.com/lib/understanding-coping-with-the-christmas-blues/

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