By John Strzechocki
The Christmas season is in full swing and it can get overwhelming. Make sure you take a step back and take a breath. Everyone knows that one person who becomes a feind during Christmastime for one reason or another. Sometimes, for very good reasons, that one person can be ourselves! Rude and antisocial behavior symptoms affect more than just personal relationships. It hurts our physical and mental health, as well.
In the article, Does Rudeness Really Matter? Christine L. Poarth, Professor of Management at Georgetown University wrote, “Recent studies have suggested that targets of rudeness report psychological distress and negative emotional effects.”
In other words, acting like the Grinch this holiday season will put you — and others — at a higher risk for depression, unproductivity, and unhappiness.
The antisocial butterfly effect
Words have consequences, and as shown in a 2006 study of 145 sixth graders who felt verbally and emotionally abused by their classmates, words can often hurt more than physical violence. Everyone has a lot on their plate, and in a world where mental health struggles are an epidemic, introspection ensures we are expressing ourselves properly. Especially with our family and those who are there to enjoy the holidays with us. Hurting others damages the relationship with that person, potentially creating a short, or even long-term strain on your relationship. This, in turn, will hurt you as an individual. A conscious attempt to hurt someone weighs on the mind. On the other hand, being completely antisocial puts you at risk for violence.
A 2003 article published in the British Medical Journal explored how an antisocial life can also hurt you physically, as well as mentally. According to the study, “Longitudinal research has found particular links between an antisocial lifestyle and injury, especially injury sustained in assaults at age 16-18 and on the roads or at work at age 27-32.”
As Austin Trefes, the mental health chair of the Epsilon Pi chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu at University of Rhode Island, tells his fellow fraternity brothers, “Unhappiness festers and overcomes you. It’s a never-ending hole that you just keep digging. Don’t allow yourself to fall into that trap.”
It’s never too late for Christmas Spirit
You may feel like the Grinch this year… but think about the movie! The Grinch went through his entire life hating. His feelings culminated into a cry for help—stealing Christmas. In the end he changed his outlook and his heart grew ten times bigger. He was accepted as a part of Whoville, even after his despicable actions. The Grinch was depressed, unhappy, rude, and just gross, but in the end he overcame his troubles with love.
The Grinch’s story goes to show that to be happy we must love and forgive, as the Whos did. Their actions changed the Grinch’s heart, but if there are no Whos in your life, it is possible to be that change for ourselves. It’s never too late to change how you react to life, but our reaction just might change not only our own experience of the holidays, but others’ as well.
Find your Christmas Spirit in Newport, RI
If you ever feel like the Grinch, take a stroll downtown in Newport and take a breath. As author and law professor, Toni Bernhard wrote for Psychology Today, seeing others happy will make you smile, so the best suggestion is to treat yourself.
Christmas in Newport events are happening all month long. Christmas in Newport is completely organized and executed by volunteers with a desire to bring the spirit of the holiday back to an older, simpler time. The entire city dresses up in traditional finery of evergreen boughs, red bows and white lights. All of the events promoted through this initiative are either free, or support non-profit organizations, which is sure to help any Grinch’s heart grow into the Christmas spirit.
Our favorite events for health, happiness and success are listed on the Mind Key Calendar. We hope to see you there! While you’re out and about, visit the Museum of Newport History Shop on 127 Thames Street. They specialize in helping customers find great gifts for even for the pickiest people, plus all proceeds support the Newport Historical Society.
Looking for more ways to bring the spirit of the holidays back into your life? We can help! A mini-consult with Danielle Rose can help you get some direction and peace this season—as our way to honor the Grinch in each of us, use coupon code XTHEGRINCH to get your mini-consult for only $14.95 throughout the month of December—that’s almost 75% off! It’s Christmas and when you spread Christmas cheer into your own life, it naturally brings it into others’, especially as your heart grows ten times in size!