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Pinch, Smile, Celebrate!

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Make the most of this holiday season with a Pinch, Smile and Celebration.

Many have the same running mantra during the holiday season — shop, stress, family…ugh.  A fast-paced, stressed induced month until the bells officially ring on New Years.

As the Positive People Army founder and author of Stories: Finding Your Wings, I believe we can make it easier, calmer and more positive by doing three simple things — a Pinch, Smile and Celebration.

Pinch – The holiday season is the best time of the year, and yet many of us don’t enjoy it at all. We worry about not having enough time, spending too much money and even feeling frustrated about family obligations. My suggestion, the moment you feel yourself stressing and worrying is to pinch the skin between your thumb and index finger. Not too hard, but just hard enough to get your attention. Then focus on the feeling. This one little trick can instantly transport you back to the present, letting go of worry and stress and in turn acts as a reminder to enjoy the moment.

Smile – Have you ever heard the saying “Turn that frown upside down”? Of course, you have. Yet, how many times have you wanted to strangle the person who actually said it? Sorry to say, they were right. A smile does have the power to make you feel better. Smiling can actually change your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and even prolong your life. Science has shown a smile can induce a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing hormones including dopamine, which increases happiness and serotonin, which is linked to reducing stress. So stop frowning and smile.

Celebration – As we inch closer to the holidays, we can’t help but agonize over our ever-growing holiday To-Do lists. I suggest, to keep things more positive and enjoyable, break your list down into smaller chunks and organize it into things you can quickly complete. Then as each item is checked, I recommend celebrating the accomplishment. This can be anything from, verbally congratulating yourself, treating yourself to a specialty coffee or even sharing your good news with a friend. You see, in most cases, we are always reminding ourselves of everything we haven’t done. Whereas, my suggestion actually ignores the list and celebrates what you have done.   

So, it’s up to you, spend this month feeling frustrated and spent or Pinch, Smile and Celebrate your way to having the best holiday season yet!

Heidi Allen


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