Another year has flown by and now the holidays are upon us again! Every year I say I am going to do things differently and plan more ahead for Christmas and it doesn’t seem to happen. I am now finishing up all the loose ends before Christmas and love to send to my followers an encouraging message to get through this time of year.
I hear from many that the holidays can be a stressful time and one where expectations don’t get met of how we wanted Christmas to turn out for us. You may have family conflicts, angry children, or marital discord that can leave you feeling challenged. This time of year, may not meet your expectations of what you imagined it to be, leaving you discouraged and depressed. What was meant to be a time of joy of the season and celebration of the birth of Christ becomes one of discouragement and depression for some.
I have been aware of how much our mindset can get in our way. If we become conscious of what our focus is placed on during this time, we can turn these dismal thoughts into something that is much more positive to get you through the season more joyfully. I know for some that are used to focusing on the negative, this can be a challenge to refocus our thoughts.
I used to work as a coach for multiple years with Tony Robbins’ coaching organization and we were always listening for one’s beliefs that get in our way. One of Tony’s saying was that we can turn our thoughts around in a heartbeat. This comment is supported by neuroscience that tells us that it takes 17 seconds to shift our mindset. The key is to become aware of when the thoughts are headed down a negative path and stop them and reframe them into something positive before they become too overwhelming. It’s also helpful to look at the faulty ways our thinking can spiral.
Are we catastrophizing and thinking of the worst possible scenario? Are we personalizing things when people aren’t really thinking about these things about us? Do we see things as black or white? Some of these patterns can create a lack of confidence, discouragement, and thoughts of hopelessness. Scripture in the Bible is quick to give us the hope that we can be overcomers. What does that mean?
I believe we have the power to overcome any thinking patterns once we have awareness. I am always aware that power doesn’t always come from mustering it up in our own strength. It’s more about surrendering to the power that is available to work through us. We have to lean into that supernatural power and not let “stinking thinking” get us into the doldrums.
Practice the following tips in the New Year:
- Be quick to have an awareness of that internal dialogue that leads to negative emotions.
- Practice an attitude of thankfulness even when things don’t turn out according to our expectations.
- Notice what triggers have affected us that cause us to escalate and not be in a peaceful state.
- Practice going for some type of exercise for stress relief- Breathing or guided imagery.
- Don’t stress yourself over having to do things perfectly…do you best but you don’t have to be superwoman or superman.
- Make sure you take time to get good rest—emotions can get out of balance when you are not getting good sleep and burning the candles at both ends.
Make this holiday the best time ever by keeping a good mental mindset!
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