Having trouble being happy over the holidays? If everyone ELSE seems to be jolly this season, don't worry--you're NOT alone!
Psychologist Eric Wilson doesn’t WANT to be happy for the holidays. And he thinks you should try taking the happy out of your holiday, too. He thinks that "happy" is an unreachable goal, especially around the holidays. Wilson says, "I have trouble with Christmas. Sentimentality goes into overdrive and we all glut ourselves on false expectations. When you wish someone a happy holiday, you don't know how much pressure you might be putting on them. The concept of constant happiness around the holidays forces people to repress too many other authentic feelings."
He thinks that experiencing emotions including melancholy and even sadness can lead to greater joy in the end. But you’ll never get there if you’re trying to plaster a smile on your face from November through December. Think of George Bailey in the Christmas movie "It’s a Wonderful Life," he says. He had to explore the worst of his life before he could understand how much love and support he really had. "It made him understand what is valuable in life," Wilson says. "That is what sadness can give you."
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