THE BLOG
12/09/2014 06:59 pm ET Updated Feb 08, 2015

Holiday Blues

The holidays are upon us, and as you venture outside you notice houses lit up for Christmas, menorahs set up for Hanukkah and decorations for all other various celebrations that welcome in the end of the year. Although you feel that you should be happy, you find that you are not. You're feeling a little sad, maybe brought to tears by the chorus of your favorite holiday song. You go to the mall, and the sound of the Salvation Army bells bring the thought of poverty to the fore front for your mind and before you know it you are reminiscing of holidays past, misguided decisions on your part, and actions of others that have affected you in a negative way. You experience regret, perhaps resentment, and you can't shake it. Well my friend, you have just entered the "holiday blues."

As we consider "life" the ultimate sport, let's take a look at how the blues are handled when it comes to sports. If you're a weekend warrior you may soon be experiencing the "blues" with the end of football season. It goes something like this: Your team didn't make it to the Super Bowl, not even the playoffs. They may have played well, but not well enough. Or, they just couldn't get out of their own way. There may be regrets for having supported a team that was found out to be dishonest, or a player you rooted for all season and was just found out to be morally and ethically disappointing.

The self-talk of these weekend warriors goes something like this, "My team lost... that was such a waste of my time! I wish I had picked the winning team that Ben chose. I cannot believe that quarterback made so many fumbles!" Thoughts go to years past, "I remember watching football as a kid, and it was so much more fun." And then the culminating thought, "My life sucks, how did I let this happen?"

Many people feel the age-old "holiday blues" during this time of year. You would expect people to be happy with all the decorations of the holiday season, holiday parties and spread of good cheer, along with the ending of a year of promise. Yet many default to the thoughts of loses, unresolved grief, anticipation of a significant loss to come, comparing holidays past to the present, disappointment of choices made, thoughts of unfulfilled expectations, all culminating into a sense of loneliness.

We can learn from our weekend warriors. What do they do after the Super Bowl with their time and their feelings? They brush themselves off, shake off their negative feelings and move on to the next sport up.

Staying busy and focusing on the good around you is one way to change your energy. Doing something for someone less fortunate than you is a sure way of getting rid of the negative thoughts you are holding on to. Expressing gratitude toward others is another way of pushing the energy forward in a positive direction.

Changing your thoughts will change your life so it's up to you what this holiday season has in store, depending on your perspective. You get to choose how you feel by what you think. You either look at the glass half full or half empty, that in and of itself will determine your mood which will then determine your behavior, which will translate into wonderful holiday memories, or not.

Positive thinking triggered by our gratitude has proven health benefits, including strengthening the immune system, reducing stress and depression, reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, better coping skills during hardship and overall increased sense of well-being, according to the Mayo Clinic.

You can choose to be grateful for what you have or depressed for what you don't have. My suggestion is to focus on the good that surrounds you. Be grateful for what you have now, it is your jumping off point for what will come tomorrow.

Changing your thoughts can change your life!

 Dr. Donna's weekly blog examines life and equates it with different venues of sports. She talks to her daughters, and all young women, about their role as young wives and mothers and answers their questions and frustrations while equating it to a sport to make her point. Whether it be about dating, successful marriages, parenting, working mom issues, sibling and in-law frustrations, or insecurities about their role as women of their generation, her advice takes on the role as General Manager of the greatest game of all....LIFE.

You can read her recent blogs at drdonnasheartcockleblog.blogspot.com