For many of us, the holiday season can seem to have a way of settling on us like a wet blanket. Many of the thoughts that try to work their way into our brains may seem as if they are attempting to steal our positive energy and shift us to a place of negative vibrations. Simple things, like managing a family gathering, can seem to be such a challenge! That is why we have to identify these stresses ahead of time and formulate a plan to overcome them.
The first step to managing holiday stress is to stop and evaluate when we begin to feel our energy seem to take a downward shift. Instead of just pushing the negative thoughts out of our minds, we must face them head on! How is this done? By identifying where we are at and what the underlying issue may seem to be that is bothering us! A great way to do this is with a pen and some paper. Write down what emotions you are experiencing and the stories, fears, or background that seem to be associated with these emotions. This not only helps you get to the root of the problem, but provides an avenue for you to use in letting these things go.
For example, if you are feeling upset or nervous about spending time with a family member during the holidays write down the reasons why you feel this way. Could it be due to an unfinished conversation that took place in the past or are you feeling self conscious about how they will receive you? Maybe it is something completely unrelated to the event or person, like a project that is nearing a deadline or an argument that you had with your spouse. Regardless of what the underlying “trigger” is, identifying it is key.
Once you have gotten a handle on the stories you seem to be telling yourself about the situation, begin to make a vibrational shift towards the positive side by creating a variety of positive solutions to the issue. These can be realistic outcomes, such as “everyone loves the side dish that I brought” or even very imaginative outcomes that are from your imagination. Really, it doesn’t matter because the point is to change your mindset to thinking about the what is possible that is positive
Now, you are at a place where you can identify what you want to activate. Instead of wasting your energy on negative thoughts and feelings, focus it all into activating new feelings for this situation. This is training your brain to alter the thought patterns. Here is an example:
- I am afraid that my food contribution at the family gathering will not be good enough.
- I am not a good cook and I think everyone will dislike what I bring.
- I have no idea what I want to take to the gathering.
- I can ask someone who is a good cook to help me.
- Everyone else may forget to bring something and be happy for whatever I have brought.
- Someone may ask for the recipe.
Feelings to Activate:
- Everything will be ok.
- I appreciate my hard work and contribution and whatever I give out comes back to me:)
Now that you have gotten these things out of your mind and onto paper, make a list of action steps to follow. In our above example, it may look like this:
- Find a recipe.
- Make a practice batch before the event.
See? Now that you have taken these steps, you can start to let go of the negative thoughts and energy and focus on the feelings you wish to activate and the action steps to take. By following these simple practices, you will be well on your way to eliminating holiday stress from your life and keeping yourself in a place of high vibrations all season long! Happy Holidays.