“How we see it is how it will be.” (Anonymous)
We most often suffer more from what we FEAR than what actually HAPPENS, so it’s important for you to learn how to evaluate what you are thinking. Negative self-talk can be consuming and adds to the overall anxiety and stress that you feel during the Holidays. Things always look less fearful or overwhelming when we face them head on vs. running, avoidance, or distracting ourselves into TV, alcohol, food, or work.
Spend some time in your journal with your anxious, stressful, overwhelming, negative thoughts. Ask yourself these questions as you give yourself time to reflect this Holiday Season:
- What is the situation that I’m stressed or worried about?
- What am I THINKING or IMAGINING?
- How much do I believe that thought? A little? A lot? Or give a percentage
- How does that thought MAKE ME FEEL? (assign a feeling)
- How STRONG is that feeling? A little? A lot? Or give a percentage
- What makes me think the thought is true?
- What makes me think the thought is NOT true or not COMPLETELY true?
- What’s another way to look at this situation?
- What’s the worst that could happen?
- Could I still live through that?
- What’s the BEST that could happen?
- What will PROBABLY happen?
- What WILL happen if I keep telling myself the same thought?
- What COULD happen if I changed or challenged my thinking?
- What would I tell my friend if this happened to him/her?
- What should I do now?
- How much do I believe that negative thought now? A little? A lot? Or give a percentage
- How strong is my negative FEELING now? A little? A lot? Or give a percentage.
Remember: you are not alone! The Holiday Season doesn’t have to be a stressful overwhelming time of year. You can embrace the good and the positives in your life. I am here for you to evaluate and explore these fears and stressors and help you learn new ways of thinking and seeing your life.