12/15/2010 09:49 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

In the Middle of a Divorce and Dreading This Holiday Season?

Your "thoughts" alone can determine whether you and your children have a good or bad Holiday Season

The Holidays are a time for joy and gratitude, but for those in the process of divorce, the season can be very daunting. The good news is that you can make the most of your Holidays and have fun if you work on changing your perspective.

So much research has been done over the last number of years that have concluded that our thoughts shape our feelings, which shape our actions, which control the consequences; contrast this to our previous belief that our emotions shape our thoughts, which shape our outcomes--this would give us much less control over our happiness then we now know we have. So in essence, we can control our happiness by controlling our thoughts!

Certainly easier said than done, but there is no time like the Holidays to challenge your negative thought patterns. If you can control your negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts, your life will transform in front of you, and not just this Holiday Season. To get started with this new discipline you need to learn to be attuned to listening to your thoughts and stopping the negative ones immediately. Consider a few examples:

I am so tired--versus--I had full day and feel satisfied and now I need to rest to rejuvenate for an exciting tomorrow.

Our plane has been delayed due to a bad storm for a minimum of 24 hours and I am really upset and put out - versus Our plane has been delayed for 24 hours so now I get a chance to grab a few hours to do something just for myself like see this new city or read or just have some down time.

I do not know what I am going to do without my kids during the Holidays; I cannot bear the thought of them not being with me. They are going to suffer and so am I - versus - I know it is going to be different this year as I do not have my kids all the time, but this will give me an opportunity to do other things that I never have time for. Perhaps I will spend more time with friends or read that book I have wanted to read, or spend a day alone or at the spa. My children also have an opportunity to experience something different and they will have their other parent all to themselves and that will hopefully provide some bonding that they otherwise may not have when I am around.

These subtle differences will help to increase your happiness quotient during the Holidays, and how exciting to think you actually do have control over your thoughts and resulting emotions and actions.

In addition to replacing your negative thoughts with positive ones, it is essential to take the time now to plan in advance for the Holiday season. Fill your days up because it is easier to change your thought patterns when you are active/busy, and force yourself to find at least five things to be grateful for each day and either say them or write them down.

Be the best you can be, which includes thinking positively, being a good leader and putting the kids first; all of this will help to keep the Holidays peaceful and joyful.