The holiday season is a time filled with love, family and friends. It is a time of gifts, fond memories and huge holiday meals. However, the holidays are also well known for the stresses of money, reoccuring family feuds and over extended schedules. The quickly approaching holiday season has given birth to a multitude of articles that tell us how to survive the festivities with our happiness and sanity intact. While each article provides their own suggestions, the common thread to success is the willingness to make your life happier.

Initially, the psychology field thought our base level of happiness could not be significantly effected. Each person had a base range of their moods and our actions had little effect. However, research has shown that life events and our perception of those events can have an effect on our feelings.

We often can’t avoid or change the events that occur in our lives, but we can choose how we react to them. Our life is nothing more then a compilation of our memories. Ponder this question. Would you rather have a week long vacation filled with the most exotic and exciting experiences you can imagine, but not be able to remember any of it once you return; or would you choose to have the memories of all of those experiences, without ever having gone? Life, without our memories becomes a hollow adventure.

While all of those articles offer us simple exercises to improve our outlook on life, only one thing actually works.

Focus on the positive elements in life. Your life is only as beautiful as the memories you keep, and the best route to happiness is just being willing to get on the road that will take you there.

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