Christmas- A Joyful Time… Or a Stressful One?
Christmas can be a wonderful and joyful time of year! But sometimes, doesn’t it just feel like a time of barely controlled madness, rushing around trying to tick things of your shopping, present and to do lists, all while finishing up at work, and kids finishing up at school!
Negative emotions (like stress) can be harmful to the body. Long term these emotions can actually cause physical “wear and tear” style damage to the body that may lead to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Did you know that happiness and emotional wellbeing (a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness, engaging in life) also appear to reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease?
A study in 2007 of 6000 people found that the protective effect of positive emotions was distinct and measurable even when other behaviours (like not smoking & regular exercise) were taken into account!
So you are probably wondering how you can increase your joy?
- Connect– Close family and friends will help you enjoy the good times and get through the bad!
- Be Active– Being fit and healthy helps you do what you want to do and enjoy doing it!
- Be Grateful– Acknowledge and appreciate the good things in your life. Try writing down 5 things in your life you are grateful for each night before bed (it could be a person, or the amazing meal your shared with friends, or something as simple as sunshine!)
- Keep Learning– Develop new skills and stimulate your brain! The more engaged your brain is, the more productive and happy you will feel!
- Give– Did you know that sharing makes us four times happier than being selfish? Remember that giving doesn’t always need to mean a physical gift, it could be the gift of quality time, or doing something that makes someone else’s life better!
And remember to smile! Smiling is often the fastest way to make happy feelings, for you and others!