Do happy people annoy you? Are you fed up with others who are excited about this time of year? Do carolers piss you off? Do you feel at times that you just want to fast forward through the next few weeks? Given how you feel, does it seem contrary to celebrate? Does it seem not to make any sense at all to be positive or happy?

We know that many people go through very difficult times full of emotional pain and especially during this time of the year when it seems the world around them are celebrating as they experience the anguish of loss, anger and despair. Many people respond to difficult times in many different ways. If you are feeling unhappiness or anger, feel depressed or your mood seems overwhelmed, we are here to help. You certainly are not alone in the feelings you are experiencing. Your story is uniquely yours and you are worth understanding and being heard.

Just for a flash let’s imagine a different approach. Reflect on taking a whole new look as to how things are now. It seems counter intuitive to do. What could possibly be any reason? Recognize for a moment that to celebrate means to honor, bless, cheer, compliment, commend or admire. In paradoxical fashion, consider for a moment 7 reasons to find celebration in the midst of how you are feeling or what situation you may find yourself.

Redirection

Many times in therapy, and in association with parenting, or in different forms of media, many of us have heard the phrase, “Take a time out”.  In so doing we have to stop and redirect our thoughts, feelings, actions and attitude taking the time to reconsider what we are doing.  As related to celebration, we redirect our gloom, hurt, sadness into something so contrary to what we are feeling. This may help us to reflect for a moment on what life will be like after we go through the sorrow, pain and struggle we are in the middle of. It is not about running away or hiding, but rather regrouping or retreating to find freshness in how we approach these challenging times.

Change in Perspective

In the time of celebration, our view of life can take on a whole new meaning.  It can also change our outlook to be a bit more positive and to reflect on the good in the midst of unpleasantness, hope in the midst of despair, love in the midst of hate, joy in the midst of sorrow, healing in the midst of pain, assurance in the midst of uncertainty, accomplishment in the midst of incongruity.  Without losing ourselves, we can look at life in a fresh new way.

Stress Relief

There’s an old proverb that says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine…” According to WebMD (12/18/15), “Some researchers think laughter just might be the best medicine, helping you feel better and putting that spring back in your step”. Laughter can improve health, stimulate many organs, stimulate circulation, help with relaxation, makes pain more manageable, improve your mood, promote more optimism, and build up hope. When the mind tells the body to relax and we get a release from tension of the mind and spirit, we can begin to find a way through the troubling place in our lives giving more clarity in our decisions.

Invites Reciprocity with Others

You may find more often than not that when you give of yourself in the helping and care of others that you begin to feel good about yourself and what you are doing to be an encouragement for others.  For example, compliment someone for their hard work, or their thoughtfulness, however, be honest yet kind. Also, consider volunteering your time or resources with the thought of being a support for someone else, not expecting anything in return. You may discover how positively and happy others respond to your acts of kindness. As you do this, it invites others to be an encouragement and acts as a boost to you as well. Practice smiling at and with complete strangers…just a smile and a “hello” or a “nice to see you” or “I really like your hair” or a “thank you” may brighten their day and just may in return brighten yours.

Promotes better self-care

In activities that promote celebration it usually includes others as well as activities that promote happiness, optimism and hope. These are things that help you to look to improve yourself. Whether listening to upbeat or holiday music, watching a comedy show, dressing in festive attire, this may help set a mood for self-care. When you a get compliment from another, just say “thank you”.  It is okay to feel good about yourself as you take care of you. As you look to improve your health, sleep, nutrition, mental and emotional health, you may notice feeling less depressed, less angry and more hopeful, positive and confident. Self-care is a process so embrace the journey.

Calls for hope and courage

As you look to celebrate life, seeking to improve your perspective, you may begin to experience a bit more hope which helps give you the courage to regain strength, look for the best in the midst of your struggles and challenges. What is hope? Believing the best will come forth; to look forward with optimism and confidence that things will work for the better. Seeing what God has in store for you through your faith in Him. Although we don’t know for certain what the future holds we can put our hope and trust in the One who does.

Asks for support from others and God

As you celebrate even when it hurts, you can look to those who have a true sense of empathy, love and concern for you. What is it about the love of God that strikes curiosity in the broken hearted? The Lord seeks to bring freedom to those in bondage, hope for the hurting, health to the ill, and to set the oppressed free. Allow others to be a source of comfort, strength, and encouragement for you and to rest in the presence of the Lord as celebration is about life, love, hope, joy, and peace.

If you find yourself in an ongoing struggle with how you are feeling, and you find your battles too difficult to bear, you are not alone. There is help available for you. We have found that by working through the difficulties and pain you learn to overcome them and the causes can be greatly reduced or can bring you freedom from your mourning, depression, anger or anxiety. You may want to see one of our counselors who is objective, a good listener, and who may be able to help walk you through these difficult areas. Feel free to read other articles we have on this site or some of the other blog entries. You may also email us at joel@pathwaystucson.com or by phone at 520-292-9750.