‘Tis the season of joy and cheer, of family and friends, of gratitude and celebration. Why is it then that this is also the season with the highest rate of depression? Here are 4 ways to turn your blahs to bliss…

  1. Give and seek forgiveness. If regret from a broken relationship with an old friend or family member is plaguing you this season, make the first move. It’s not about who was right or wrong; it’s about rising above that and simply saying, “I regret the way I handled that. I’m sorry. Can we put it behind us?” Things may never be the way they were, but forgiveness is a powerful healer; and leaving that burden in 2011 means you can walk taller in 2012.
  2. Breathe in bliss. The holidays are an ideal time to reflect on the year behind us and set goals for the year ahead. That’s all fine and necessary. But in between the past and the future, take some precious time to experience the present; appreciate life itself. Inhale bliss, and exhale all that fights against it. Breathe deeply, purposefully, deliberately. Look for the beauty around you, study it and be grateful for it.
  3. Enhance the lives of others. If you are looking for purpose in your life, seek first to lift up another person. I have been cheered by recent stories of “Layaway Santas,” these everyday people who are paying off the layaway accounts of total strangers as random acts of kindness. One of these gestures is worth far more than the account balance:  from the smiling shopkeeper who keeps the secret … to the hard-working Mom who can now afford to buy a little something for herself … to the one who found the true meaning of Christmas by giving with no strings attached. Acts like these bring elusive holiday joy and cheer to self and others. Give to a stranger who has no way of returning the favor, and you will experience bliss.
  4. Take the focus off of yourself.  There is always someone having a harder time than you are, so there is always someone you can help. Call a friend who lost a loved one this year, even if you don’t know what to say (the words will come). Take some homemade soup to an elderly person in your life, and ask her to share a story with you while you visit. Have a friend who works the night shift? String some holiday lights outside his or her home and leave a small gift at the door with a handwritten note. Letting people know you care about them is the best way to create bliss for them… and for yourself.

(What have you done to beat the blahs with bliss?  Share your stories with me, and I may include you in a future blog post.)

May you have a blissful holiday season!  Be safe out there!

Clifford A. Bailey
speaker, CEO and lover of life

This entry was posted on Monday, December 19th, 2011 at 3:25 am and is filed under Emotional Intelligence, Musings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.