Your 2013 Psychology Calendar

From January to December, rise your happiness with these monthly tips

Posted December 10, 2011

The months of the year each bring their very own distinct themes. Add to your daily calendar these facts from psychological research study and also theory that deserve to offer you helpful aid to cope via each month"s difficulties. You can also read each month"s research base in the references listed listed below.

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January- Renewal

January is the month of renewals and also via renewals come resolutions. For many civilization, these resolutions frequently involve losing weight. Research performed by Perello and also his team reveals that the more stressed civilization are, the more "comfort" (i.e. high fat and also sugar) food they eat. If you store your anxiety levels dvery own, you"ll be even more successful at getting to or preserving your best weight.

February- Love

Of course, February is the month for mirroring you care around someone-whether it"s a lover, a spouse, a relative, or a teacher. February"s psychology reality is that, according to Robert Sternberg, the many lasting kind of love is "consummate," a blend of intimacy, passion, and commitment. Placed all three ingredients together, and you need to have actually a lengthy and also happy love life.

March- Spring is Coming

By March, at leastern in the chillier climates in the Northern Hemisphere, we"re all in the mood to "think spring." However before, also if winter stretches via to the end of this transitional month, there"s no reason to let the weather influence your mood. Klimstra and his colleagues found that weather has virtually no all at once effect on mood compared to individual distinctions in personality. Don"t offer into the weather and you"ll make it through also the snowiest spring.

April- Tax Time

In the UNITED STATE, April carries through it what for many type of is the dcheck out of managing the I.R.S. How can you ease the pain, specifically if the outcome is that you will not advantage from a refund? In an eight-country study (not consisting of the U.S. or Canada), Muehlbacher and also colleagues discovered that civilization were more willing to report their incomes honestly if they felt they had actually operated difficult to earn their paychecks. The researchers concluded that world that worked hard for their money were much less willing to danger shedding it to the auditor. To ease taxation burden pain, then, remember that your taxes reflect your earning success. On the various other hand, if you"re obtaining a refund-- enjoy!

May- Mother"s Day

Families welcome and also cherish motherhood, but ending up being a mother can carry with it tension. For many years, researchers tried to describe the dip in marital satisfactivity that many brand-new mothers experience. Now, as reported by Dew and Wilcox, brand-new mothers can be happier in their relationships if they have the right to spend even more top quality time via their partners. Just as important, though, is the mother"s perception that her partner is pitching in to help via family members tasks. By easing the change to motherhood, new family members deserve to construct the solid structure they"ll have to acquire them via the rest of the child-rearing years, and also past.

June- The Marriage Month

According to the CDC, which tracks marriage statistics, June is the most famous month for human being to tie the knot. Psychology supplies many kind of suggestions to help the recently married build a effective life together. As I mentioned in a previous blog posting, the divorce price isn"t truly as high as the majority of world think once you take right into account such determinants as age of marriage and -when again- gender function etop quality. Research by Anderkid and also colleagues, that adhered to 700 couples over 17 years uncovered that most continued to be happy, and even those who experienced troubles ultimately respanned. The researchers concluded the best days are NOT behind for many married couples after the initially few years.

July- Celebprice the Fourth

July starts with in the U.S. with a lengthy weekfinish devoted to celebrating the nation"s freedom, for many human being, via parades, flag-waving, fireworks, picnics, barbecues, and also household get-togethers. The design template of patriotism that pervades these celebrations can increase an individual"s feeling of nationwide identity. Though enhancing our national identity deserve to bolster our all at once sense of self, it can have negative results. Research performed by Stavarnides and also Georgiou on Greek-Cypriot kids uncovered that those via greater nationwide identity were also even more likely to have actually negative biases versus people they see as "opponents." We should be mindful of the risks of patriotism if we desire to develop tolerance not only in kids, however adults.

August- Vacation Time

Throughout the northern hemisphere, August is the month that many civilization arrangement their getameans. As I reported in 2 of my previous postings, whether it"s obtaining ameans or having a staycation, everyone demands a break. Surprisingly enough, just planning for a vacation can increase your happiness. Nawijn and also colleagues uncovered a pre-vacation boost in happiness among Dutch vacationers. They defined this finding in component because of the phenomenon of social comparichild. Just feeling that you"re going to take a vacation deserve to make you feel happier bereason you recognize various other human being aren"t going to have this benefit. The moral of the story is that you have to enjoy as much as feasible the planning phase of your vacation bereason it will boost your satisfaction as a lot as the actual vacation.

September- Back to School and Work

Even if you have actually a 12-month project, you might suffer the "new school year effect" if you have children whose year begins best prior to or after Labor Day. Even if you do not have children, you might still have patterned into your yat an early stage calendar a sense of a brand-new start after your August vacation time is over. However, you have to be on guard against the post-vacation blues. Another group of Dutch researchers, de Bimpend and also colleagues, uncovered that, unfortunately, the results of a vacation don"t persist beyond a few weeks after human being go back to work. They indicate that reasoning back on a positive vacation endure after you rerevolve residence can increase your happiness by negating the post-vacation blues.

October- Halloween

Similar to planning your summer vacation, the fun of preparing for Halloween frequently exceeds the joys of the actual holiday itself. What fantasy figure will you, or your youngsters, represent? How can you express your real self or possibly the oppowebsite of your actual self in one good disguise? Nelson"s research says that we tfinish to limit our alternative of costumes to those that express typical gender duties. Instead of following those restrictions, usage the chance to break out of your normative shell. As psychoanalyst Carl Jung could say, use the mask to expose your inner persona. For more clues on using psychology to find the perfect costume, inspect out this orevious posting.

November- Time to Give Thanks

Thanksgiving"s template of gratitude starts to collection in at about the middle of November. Of course, so does holiday shopping! However, concentrating on Thanksgiving as a time to offer thanks- literally- is a critical way to rise your happiness throughout the holiday period. Emmons and his colleagues have establiburned a solid body of evidence showing that the feeling of gratitude is strongly related to feelings of life satisfaction. I"ve debated the details of this research study in a previous blog posting if you"d prefer to review more around it. The bottom line is that concentrating on what really matters around thanksgiving will certainly pump up your morale throughout the month and beyond.

December- Celebrate the Holidays

Now we arrive at the finish of the year, a time punctuated by parties, household gatherings, religious observation, and also - of course- holiday shopping. You must be feeling happy and enjoying all of the festivities however maybe you feel burdened by tension instead. December have the right to be the the majority of difficult month for people"s psychological health. People who do not have actually families to celebrate through deserve to feel isolated and also alone. Holiday parties have the right to drain your energy levels and also reason you to fill up on high-fat and also high-sugar foods, not to cite alcohol. Your exercise schedule falls by the wayside. I"ve publimelted some tips to cope through holiday anxiety. In addition, Kasser and Sheldon discovered that focusing on the core issues of household and also religious meaning supported more happiness than concentrating on spending money and also receiving presents. Surprisingly, engaging in environmentally conscious techniques of intake also added to happiness. So be sure to recycle those boxes, bows, and wrapping paper-and also store your emphasis on what really matters during the holiday season.

In conclusion, write-up these happiness tips in your monthly planner and also you"ll be on your method to a abundant, fulfilling, and mood-increasing brand-new year!

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January: Perello, M., Sakata, I., Birnbaum, S., Chuang, J., Osborne-Lawrence, S., Rovinsky, S. A., & ... Zigmale, J. M. (2010). Ghrelin increases the rewarding worth of high-fat diet in an orexin-dependent manner. Biological Psychiatry, 67(9), 880-886. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.10.030

February: Sternberg, R. J. (2004). A Triangular Theory of Love. In H. T. Reis, C. E. Rusbult, H. T. Reis, C. E. Rusbult (Eds.) , Cshed relationships: Key readings (pp. 213-227). Philadelphia, PA US: Taylor & Francis.

March: Klimstra, T. A., Frijns, T., Keijsers, L., Denissen, J. A., Raaijmachines, Q. W., van Aken, M. G., & ... Meeus, W. J. (2011). Come rain or come shine: Individual distinctions in exactly how weather affects mood. Emotion, 11(6), 1495-1499. doi:10.1037/a0024649

April: Muehlbacher, S., Kirchler, E., Hoelzl, E., Ashby, J., Berti, C., Job, J., & ... Waldherr, K. (2008). Hard-earned income and tax compliance: A survey in eight nations. European Psychologist, 13(4), 298-304. doi:10.1027/1016-9040.13.4.298

May: Dew, J., & Wilcox, W. (2011). If momma ain"t happy: Explaining declines in marital satisfaction among brand-new mothers. Journal Of Marriage And Family, 73(1), 1-12. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00782.x

June: Anderkid, J. R., Van Ryzin, M. J., & Doherty, W. J. (2010). Developpsychological trajectories of marital happiness in repeatedly married individuals: A group-based modeling method. Journal Of Family Psychology, 24(5), 587-596. doi:10.1037/a0020928

August: Nawijn, J., Marchand also, M. A., Veenhcooktop, R., & Vingerhoets, A. J. (2010). Vacationers happier, however most not happier after a holiday. Applied Research In Quality Of Life, 5(1), 35-47. doi:10.1007/s11482-009-9091-9

September de Bloom, J., Geurts, S. E., Taris, T. W., Sonnentag, S., de Weerth, C., & Kompier, M. J. (2010). Effects of vacation from work on health and well-being: Lots of fun, quickly gone. Work & Stress, 24(2), 196-216. doi:10.1080/02678373.2010.493385

October Nelboy, A. (2008). The pink dragon is female: Halloween costumes and also gender markers. In J. Z. Spade, C. G. Valentine, J. Z. Spade, C. G. Valentine (Eds.) , The kaleidoscope of gender: Prisms, patterns, and also possibilities (second ed.) (pp. 222-230). Thousand Oaks, CA US: Pine Forge Press/Sage Publications Co.

See more: Relative & Absolute References Are Marked With A ____., Absolute References Are Marked With A ____

November Emmons, R. A., & Mishra, A. (2011). Why gratitude improves well-being: What we understand, what we must know. In K. M. Sheldon, T. B. Kashdan, M. F. Steger, K. M. Sheldon, T. B. Kashdan, M. F. Steger (Eds.) , Designing positive psychology: Taking stock and also relocating forward (pp. 248-262). New York, NY US: Oxford College Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195373585.003.0016

December: Kasser, T., & Sheldon, K. M. (2002). What Makes for a Merry Christmas?. Journal Of Joy Studies, 3(4), 313-329. doi:10.1023/A:1021516410457


Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., is a Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the College of Massachusetts Amherst. Her latest book is The Search for Fulfillment.