It’s the holidays!
Weeks of giving thanks, sharing blessings, traveling and gathering, and an array of festive aromas and flavors.
For some of us, the holidays are joyful weeks of family, friends, food, and fun.
Yet, for others of us, the holidays are anxious weeks of white-knuckling our way through over-obliging, over-indulging, and over-eating and drinking.
It’s as if we see no other way. It’s expected. It’s just the way it is. We simply must.
Yet, these types of anxious thoughts are not facts.
They do not have to control or dictate the holidays or any days.
All thoughts are optional, even during the holidays.
And, because we have the capacity and free will to choose any thought that we think, consider the possibility of creating the type of holiday season you want most using your most precious gift: your brain.
Yes, a calm, satisfying holiday season begins in your mind, as does everything we want to think, feel, do, and create.
To help you prep for the holidays, here’s a 4-step plan to support you every step of the way:
1. Decide how you want to feel.
For example, if you want to feel calm, decide to feel calm.
If you want to feel grateful, decide to feel grateful.
Avoid choosing how you “don’t” want to feel.
If we say, “I don’t want to feel anxious and stuffed,” we’ve created uncertainty in our mind and haven’t let our brain know how we actually want to feel.
Instead, decide exactly how you want to feel, even if it’s neutral.
There’s a lot of peace and calm available to us when we decide to feel “okay.”
2. Commit to how you will show up.
Since our feelings inform our actions, envision the actions that your chosen feelings will drive.
If we stick with calm and satisfied, calm actions might include warm smiles, peaceful movements, joyful laughter, and easeful flow.
Satisfied actions might be thoughtful, deliberate, conscious, enjoyable, and mindful.
For example, “I will enjoy my favorite flavors. I will listen to my body. I will trust my intuition.”
Again, commit to how you want to act and show up.
3. Choose the thoughts that will cause you to feel and act the way you want.
If you want to feel and act calm and satisfied, what will you need to think?
Since our thoughts cause our feelings and our feelings inform our actions, this is the most important prep-step for the weeks ahead.
Perhaps you want to think thoughts like, “I am thankful. I am grateful. I am blessed.”
Or, “I am okay and at ease.”
Or simply, “I’m calm and satisfied.”
If you’re anticipating a “dynamic,” maybe even “dysfunctional” weeks ahead, go for thoughts like, “I am in control of my emotional life,” or “I can flow with curiosity through this fascinating and temporary experience.”
Repeat your chosen thoughts throughout the holidays, especially during travel, gatherings, and family festivities.
4. Entrust your body.
Our body truly is our most beloved and faithful friend.
We can join with our body and allow it to guide us; it knows the score.
By breathing into and connecting with our body, we’ll discover what we both need and what we both don’t.
Our body will tell us if we need some fresh air or a little space.
It will also signal when it’s had enough to eat or drink, and needs some rest, relaxation, or movement.
So, trust your body and trust yourself; together you can create the holiday season you want most from the inside out.
You can feel calm and satisfied, and maybe even thankful, grateful, and blessed.
Remember, it all begins in your mind.
Feel better, live well, and have a glorious holiday season!