How to Survive This Time of Year Without Anyone Getting Hurt

  It's the end of the year again, a time when many people are gathering together with family and friends. Unfortunately, it's also a time when depression, anxiety and stress tend to be very high. One of the biggest stresses can be spending time with loved ones that you perhaps don't always get along with, so I'd like to share some tips to hopefully help you "deal with" those dear loved ones and maybe get through this season a bit calmer and happier.

Now you know I'm the "Brain Lady" so I'm of course going to talk about how to help your brain "play well" with the other brains you will be spending your time with over the next month or so. Something that can help us get alone with others, even those who we tend to get upset with every year, is remembering our BPC or our Brain Personality Connection, the science behind what makes us tick. It helps so much to know that the BPC of individuals are not only made up by their unique life experiences and how their brain's have processed those experiences, but the very way their brains are wired on a biochemical level.

There are five main facets to the BPC. The First is Nurture, the way we were raised, who raised us and what kind of environment we grew up in. The Second is Gender, there is a significant difference between the wiring of the male and female brain. The Third is one's Communication Style, how their brain processes information, whether visually, auditory or kinesthetically. The Fourth is your Introversion/Ambiversion/Extroversion Level, how much stimulus your brain craves. And Fifth is the ever fascinating Brain Quadrant Dominance or BQD.

When we understand our brain's natural gifts and those of the important people in our lives, this can certainly reduce stress. If you know why your cousin points out that the turkey is overcooked, because his brain runs on facts and he is simply stating a fact he believes, not trying to insult you, then you can take his comment with a grain of salt and hopefully not personally.

Another important tip to survive stressful times is to make sure you take care of yourself. We know scientifically that negative thinking and stress in our lives have a detrimental effect on our immune systems, making it easier for us to get sick. So it would stand to reason that the better we handle our emotions the better effect it will have on our physical health. Make sure you schedule time for yourself, whether that's getting a massage or pedicure or simply scheduling time every day to breathe and meditate.

If the stresses are coming from not having people around, perhaps because you don't live near family or they have passed away, then plan activities that will put you around people. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or animal rescue. Don't isolate yourself!

Our lives are full of strife on any given day so hopefully these few tips will help you survive not only the end of 2016 but every year to come!

~ Julie "Brain Lady" Anderson
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