So we've officially survived Thanksgiving, but that only means one thing. Most of us have a slew of holiday commitments locked and loaded on our calendars over the next few weeks. Woosah. Every December I see clients suffer from holiday anxieties including weight gain, financial struggles, managing work and social commitments, and many forms of loneliness and depression. Even those who have a committed yoga or meditation practice often veer off track during the holiday season. Why? Because fear kicks in! As soon as the first holiday song comes on the radio the mind starts to race: What am I buying the kids? How do I meet Q4 goals? When does my dad fly in? Where are the cheapest sales? Why are my pants too tight already? How can I juggle all these client commitments?
Sound familiar? The secret to keeping things merry and bright this holiday season is reprogramming this internal soundtrack. Your thoughts are very powerful and the more you worry, the more negativity you will experience in your life. The holidays are the best time to replace these unproductive, dead-end thoughts of overwhelm with centering affirmations. Instead of diving into the 12 days of anxiousness, ask yourself what's really important, and what is true in the present moment. What am I thankful for this year? When do I need to let go? Where do I need to express more love? Why am I resisting? How am I going to give back?
Perhaps your annual holiday anxieties are triggered from negative memories, or maybe from the pressures you put on yourself at the end of each year. Whatever the cause, now is the best time to hold the faith. Whenever you start hearing the noisy soundtrack go off in your head, try to catch yourself and take a few deep inhales, then silently recite the following phrases:
I am filled with loving kindness.
I am peaceful and at ease.
I am happy.
I am safe.
I know it may feel greeting-card cheesy to do this at first. But before you dismiss giving it a try, ask yourself this. What lifts your spirit more, telling yourself what a terrible state you're in, or claiming a state you aspire to? There is always going to be some form of chaos swirling around you, but the challenge becomes how you deal with it. Do you pander to fear about imagined ruin or ground yourself in simple well-being right now?
Presence and positive thinking are the two essential ingredients to managing stress. Try implementing these positive affirmations for a more joyful holiday season -- and for spiritual emergencies (like cranky relatives), I recommend having them on repeat.
If you still end up hitting the eggnog, at least you'll do so from a state of peaceful enjoyment rather than self-medicating escape!