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BellaOnline's Stress Management Editor

How to Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Many of us are a bit wistful during the Thanksgiving holiday. Perhaps, it is because we are bullied into feeling grateful and happy. Perhaps, some of us feel alone and do not quite fit into the picture-perfect mold consisting of cherubic children and warm, loving family members seated around a bountiful and delicious table. We feel left out, cheated and disappointed that everyone else is having a wonderful dinner with their cheerful in-laws, benevolent aunts and uncles, sweet sisters-in law, behaved children, supportive spouses, and of course, the extraordinary extended family of ex-s. Not only do the media and the greeting card business perpetuate this myth, but our fantasies finish the job!

The best stress-management tool I could provide for the holidays is: Get Real! For example, when we have unrealistic expectations about a movie because other people have built it up in our minds with such high praise, we are bound to be disappointed even if it is a really good movie. When we return to a vacation spot we considered amazing, it is rarely as great as that first time. Similarly, we can expect the same results with family gatherings, holidays, and love. So, make up your mind to be reasonably happy.

Another strategy: if we use our imaginations to perceive the holidays in a positive light, to discover new ways to enhance the celebration, we can truly look forward and enjoy them. Who needs TV or Hallmark cards to paint the traditional holiday scene for us? Let go of the old, ingrained notions of tradition or unquestioned ritual and create new rituals. Welcome new positives into your life without resenting the negatives.

Here’s how:
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, and a personal trainer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB 1240AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com

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Content copyright © 2013 by Debbie Mandel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.

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