Wait a minute…I need to put on my “Gosh I really care” face

The stress of the holidays and family obligations can be downright brutal with all of the parties, shopping, work, and home responsibilities. Eventually something has to give and hopefully it’s not your sanity. All the chaos can make a person tense and hard to deal with putting a strain on anyone who interacts with them.

As hard as it may seem, forcing a smile and pretending you are happy can make the season easier to get through. According to a Harvard study, pretending you’re happier than you really are has positive benefits. Exhibiting pleasant emotions will grant others to react more favorably towards you and in turn may actually change your mood for the better. Besides, no one really wants to listen to you go on about how you were stuck in traffic for forty-five minutes, then spilt coffee on your favorite shirt, and hit your head getting into your car. We all have been there, and no one wants a play-by-play of your bad morning.

When someone approaches you and you are in a terrible mood, kindly smile and pretend that you are happy and listen to what they have to say. It’s possible that this person will help lighten your spirits and make your day a lot more pleasant. According to Psychology Today, smiling can actually improve your mind-set and inspire others to smile as well. I know that I appreciate it when someone smiles at me. It warms my heart and cools my temper when I’m not having a good day.  

Attempting to alter your state of mind to get you through the holidays can  have positive consequences. However, please do not get into the habit of suppressing negative feelings and anger as this can produce harmful effects. Habitually burying these feelings and avoiding them altogether can lead to serious health risks such as high blood pressure and heart disease. People with clinical depression should seek help and consider therapy with medication if your doctor deems it necessary.  Mental illness is not to something to mess around with and there is support for those in need.


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