THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Happy Holidays

Does the term "happy holidays" seem like an oxymoron? That's because hanging out with family can really make you nuts. You revert to immature behavior, dig up old resentments, or bottle up emotions until you lose it. Sound familiar?

These issues can actually be a good thing because they create an opportunity to change. If your family dynamic gets you down, bring happy back this season with my three tools for the holidays.

Tool One: Mirroring
Is there a family member that gets under your skin? Someone who riles you up by their mere presence. The truth is: the feeling they ignite in you is a reflection of the way you feel about yourself. Don't point the finger at them because they are not at fault. Rather, they are simply reflecting the way you feel about you. They are the mirror.

If you feel insecure about yourself, insecurity will be reflected back at you. If you don't believe in yourself neither will anyone else. However, if you feel good about yourself, others will feel good about you. Therefore, by using the universal mirror this holiday season you'll stop blaming others and instead look inward at the opportunities for personal growth.

Each time you experience a strong adverse reaction to someone, ask yourself the following questions; what is this person's behavior making me feel and how is that related to the way I feel about myself?

Tool Two: Mind the Gap
In this case, minding the gap is all about breaking old patterns. Instead of flipping out when someone upsets you, stop and witness the feeling that comes up. Then hang out with that feeling for 90 seconds. Feeling instead of reacting creates a gap, which serves as a form of healing. Feeling your unfelt pain is actually a big release, as it allows your old issues to dissolve and heal.

Tool Three: Use the F Word
The final is forgiveness. Holding onto resentment actually harms you. This is because your resentment keeps you stuck in the past and negatively affects your state of mind. Feelings of anger weaken your thoughts, your energy and your physical wellbeing. By choosing to forgive you release negativity and clear space for happiness to set in.

Bring happy back into your holidays by practicing the above tools. Remember, family members can be your best teachers and all "issues" are universal assignments. Focus your attention inward, feel your feelings and when in doubt use the F word.