Develop Your Character Strengths in Three Phases

Three Strategies to Build Positive Emotions for the Holiday Season

Being home for the holidays can be a joyful time but can also be stressful. And we may be sad if unable to visit loved ones.

During the holiday season, it’s important to engage in three practical strategies to help build positive emotions and resilience:

  • Positive Imagery: Recreate a positive psychological experience using as many sensory details (taste, touch, smell, sound and sight) as possible. For example, think of your favorite holiday memory, such as watching football with your Family.
  • Focus on the Good Stuff: Reflect on what was good about each day to undo the negativity bias (our natural tendency to regularly acknowledge the bad things in our lives more than the good things). For example, keep sight of what really matters, such as our Families, our health and our happiness.
  • Real-Time Resilience: “Knock out” counterproductive thoughts by disproving them with evidence, thinking optimistically and putting thoughts into perspective. For example, replace “I don't belong here” with “That’s not true because I was invited and asked to participate in the celebration.”

Use these three strategies to better manage and reduce holiday stress so you can enjoy time with friends and Family and boost your physical and mental health.


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