Posted by: Greta Jaeger | December 3, 2009

How to have more fun on the Holidays

The holidays are an interesting and funny period for many of us.  It’s a time that really reveals the ways different people react to it and share very different experiences.  Let me give you one example.  I have a friend who visualizes the perfect holiday with her family.  Then, when her desires don’t come true, she gets upset. The cookies must come out right and the turkey can’t be dry or my holiday is ruined. This is one way in which the use of visualization skills can be counter-productive. Visualizing can have great impact on how you experience your holiday because how we perceive the holiday is how we feel about the holiday.  Therefore, if we expect perfection and don’t get it then we perceive that our holiday is ruined.  Yuck!  What an awful way to celebrate.

Those who choose to look at events in their lives through a negative lens often wonder why they’re not happy.  We focus on negative points and questions, wondering why these terrible things keep happening to us, such as asking the universe why we’re the one who gets the cold or flu every year or why are we always feeling depressed or mentally worn out.  How you perceive events in your life and how you move in the world impacts your mental and physical health. Shocking, I know, but true.   Knowing this one bit of information can be quite useful, though.

Let me explain further.  It has been proven through many studies that when a person feels mentally under the weather, their immune system (the part of our body that fights illness) stops working as well.  When the immune system is functioning at this lower capacity, we’re much more likely to catch that nasty cold or flu bug that comes our way.  Now, doesn’t that sound like fun?  Not really, but again, it’s good to know that yes, your bad mood creates the possibility of bad physical health.

I am not suggesting that you’re going to make yourself sick.   I’m simply stating that you increase your chances of becoming physically ill when you are sad, depressed, angry, frustrated, or stressed for extend periods of times. I would also like to point out that stress is not something that we want to eliminate entirely.   The goal is to keep it at a manageable level where you don’t feel overwhelmed.  Learning to see the world in a more positive light will help reduce stress. Instead of visualizing the perfect holiday, practice visualizing a fun-filled, positive celebration.  Learn to let your holiday season flow.  Don’t expect things to go exactly as planned.  They rarely do.  Plans change.  People change.  Things always take longer than expected.  Allowing the possibility that your plans may not always turn out perfectly will give you the opportunity to let life flow and become more enjoyable.  When something does go wrong, learn to change your perception around the event.  Turn it into something more positive.  If the cookies end up tasting like hockey pucks, have a good laugh, throw them out, and say, “Well, that just leaves more room for pie!”

Please send any questions to:
Please put in the subject line “Question for Coach Greta” or leave a comment on my blog and I will get back to you.

Greta Jaeger, LPC, PLC


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