With Christmas just two days away, many people are already experiencing the sturm und drang that comes with the high expectations of a ‘perfect holiday.’ The Huffington Post has a wonderful article called “6 Research-Backed Tricks That Will Help You Have a Happier Holiday.” I’ve pulled my favorite three tips to discuss, so read on and enjoy a stress-free Christmas!


1. Set Your Intention

I’ve talked before about mindfulness, and this is another version of it.  By priming your brain to be ready for positive experiences, you make it more likely that you will actually experience them. So instead of being certain that your holiday will be stressful, think about the joyful moments – and you’ll be ready to enjoy them!

2. Take Breaks to Regain Your Focus

Being surrounded by family and friends can be wonderful – but it can also be overwhelming. Instead of forcing yourself to enjoy every moment of togetherness, take the occasional break from the activities. Read a book, take a walk, meditate – do something that will calm you down and help you center yourself. After, you can go back to the hustle and bustle with a clear mind and steady focus.

3. Practice Generosity

It really is better to give than receive – for your brain that is! Studies have shown that performing an act of altruism activates the same pleasure centers in your brain as sex and food. When you give a friend a gift, cook dinner for your family, or even just hold the door open for a stranger, concentrate on that feeling of generosity. Your mind will thank you!


Be sure to read the full article for more great tips on staying centered and happy this holiday season. And have a happy, safe, and healthy holiday!

Image Credit: Christmas Stock Images