Perhaps the upcoming holiday season fills you with dread, anxiety and anticipatory stress rather than joy, light and gratitude. Many people struggle with issues at this time of year, generating a torrent of letters to Dear Abby seeking advice on holiday blues. Families try to balance where to have celebrations, who to invite, what to do with distant, poorly-behaved relatives, step-relatives, exes. All these pressures to resolve family and relational issues seem to peak at the holidays. They put more pressure on everyone rather than allowing us to simply enjoy being together.

One stress-busting technique that might be useful this holiday season and throughout the year is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT is something you can do on your own or with the guidance of a professional counselor.

Dr. Victor S. Sierpina is the WD and Laura Nell Nicholson Family Professor of Integrative Medicine and Professor of Family Medicine at UTMB.

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