THE BLOG
12/13/2013 05:54 pm ET Updated Mar 14, 2014

Get Off the Treadmill: 8 Ways to Stay Positive in the Holiday Season

Stop spinning! This post is about how to enjoy the holiday season despite being sober! (Oops, I meant sane!)

No one could convince me that the world is not spinning faster! Time really has sped up, and I seem to be working harder than I ever have before. Feeling overwhelmed is a pretty common situation -- unless I consciously make an effort to stop spinning.

We all seem to be going faster and faster and faster -- until we collapse exhausted into bed at night and then we can't sleep cos our brains are still spinning!

How can you stop "spinning" on a daily basis? This is especially useful in the lead up to the holidays.

1. Stop!
Firstly, check to see if you are rushing at this moment -- and ask yourself why. And if there really is no real reason to rush or value in rushing then stop it! Slow your thinking down; walk slower; take a deep breath; stop and smell a flower or do anything that brings your focus totally into this moment. You can read more tips on achieving inner peace here.

2. Look
Become really present by noticing, in detail, everything that is around you! Or pick one thing -- like a bush or tree nearby and notice it's color; it's shape; describe to yourself in detail it's precise dimensions and features. Doing this helps to center you and bring your attention back to the present. There is no point in bringing fear from the past into the present, nor is there value in ruining the future with fears of things that have not even happened yet! Being present right now and focusing on the immediate task at hand is very relaxing. Practicing this type of reverence allows you to see the good in everything, to see the spiritual side of things and recognize the amazing nature of everyone and everything and how it all connects.

3. Make Lists
Be wary of what story you are telling yourself about what is coming up in the future -- including the holidays. I know there are so many things to organize and prearrange as I have been going through that whole process! I find making lists helps me free up brain space and not be obsessed with what food I have to buy, who is going to sleep where, which days the shops are open in case I need more food etc. Then I make schedules to help me rest my brain activity a little more! I seem to be able to let things go mentally when I know they are written down. Writing them in my iPhone helps a lot so I don't then fret about where I put that piece of paper with the list one it!

4. Be Aware
Keenly observe your thinking about everything! Especially people -- this includes your relatives who will be at holiday events. Catch yourself the moment you are not thinking something kind or positive. Immediately find something positive or kind to replace any judgement or negativity. It's an awesome technique and sounds easier to do than it is initially -- but once you develop the habit of acting with compassion and grace, your life will change! Also, ask yourself, "How useful is it for me to think or believe this?" If it's not very useful -- if it causes you more stress -- change your thinking! You can. It's a choice.

5. Be a Good Finder
Be a good finder. No matter what happens or who pushes your buttons (and family are brilliant at doing that) find good in it. Put your gratitude glasses on and re-frame everything that happens or is said into something that has some good in it. I had dinner with a great friend of mine a few nights ago and she is the most amazing person. She has had what most people would call an horrendous 18 months and yet her take on it is "everything that has happened has made me what I am today and I am really happy with that at the moment." She also believes everything happens for a reason and looks for the higher purpose in all that happens to her. For the cynics, she is not Pollyanna -- but she IS happy!

6. Take Note
Keep a note pad and pen beside your bed. Quite often we wake up and have a revelation or great idea and then can't go back to sleep again. If you become good at writing in the dark, it's a great way to let your mind relax and quickly go back to sleep and still have your idea! I am now an expert at writing in the dark!

7. Remember to Breathe
Breathe. Breathe! Big deep breaths down to the base of your lungs and then blow the air out. Do this three or four times whenever you catch yourself spinning -- hopefully before it's at the out of control stage. When we become stressed and anxious, we can breathe very shallow and high which stops us inhaling enough oxygen to keep ourselves relaxed and calm. The brain loves and needs a lot of oxygen, so for us to relax our minds and think clearly, we need to keep breathing! But big, full breaths. Write little notes to yourself -- R.T.B. -- Remember To Breathe. Put them on your fridge, in your car, a your desk -- in a place where you see it a lot. It might seem silly but it really works!

8. Laugh
Lucky last... I just thought of something else! Laughing! It's a fabulous way to stop spinning. So watch a comedy movie, program, visit my YouTube channel or play with a child! Children always make us laugh (when they are not crying!) and bring great joy.

There you have it -- a recipe to stop spinning and enjoy your holidays. Even if you do one or two of the suggestions, things will be different and you may just en-joy yourself a lot more!

Happy holidays to all of my amazing blog readers, Twitter followers, Facebook friends, etc.! I am humbled that so many of you are kind enough to encourage me to keep writing by telling me that you feel these ideas are useful and have made a difference to you! Blessings galore and of course, zooties all over!

Amanda

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Amanda Gore (www.amandagore.com) is an author, award-winning motivational speaker and joy facilitator! Her philosophy is that Joy is an Inside Job. Finding joy is the secret to more productive, creative, successful and happy humans - at work and home. Amanda is also the director of The Joy Project. To book Amanda for your event click here or email admin@amandagore.com. Connect with Amanda on Facebook -- Amanda Gore -- Speaker page and The Joy Project page