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Joy to the World!

As the holiday season approaches, a time of giving and receiving, it occurs to me that this means so much more than the tangible “gifts” we exchange. Each and everyday, our attitude – our emotional state which is simply how we are feeling – has either a positive or negative effect on the people around us. If we feel good – essentially focus on joy – a more soul satisfying and realistic alternative to happy – we positively influence those around us. Research supports a concept called emotional contagion – you can “catch” an emotional state – positive or negative based on those around you the same way you catch a cold. So if you find yourself in a less than positive state this holiday season – at home or work – pause, reflect and be the change your desire. A friend shared an interesting perspective with me recently and I quote,

"A lot of people are looking for the perfect partner (co-worker, friend; fill in the relationship blank) but how many people are trying to be the perfect partner (co-worker, friend)."

The point here is not to get caught up in the word perfect, rather it is to consider being what you want or expect others in your life to be. Playing the blame game is easy (they made me angry, unhappy; hurt my feelings) rather than ponying up, taking a look in the self reflection mirror and acknowledging how you contributed. And even if you did absolutely nothing 'wrong', show grace and compassion and let it go. Resentment towards someone else always boomerangs back to us leaving us in a not so great state. So if you’re feeling the holiday blahs or stressed to the max, take a deep breath, focus on a positive thought or the bigger holiday purpose picture and choose to make this holiday season better starting with yourself first.

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