The how to guide for enjoying the Festive Season.
We all know Christmas can be the most stressful times of the year. It doesn’t take much to push us over the edge. From a bauble out of place, to a turkey dinner brunt to a crisp, because you’ve locked yourself out of the house!!.
Adding visiting relatives to the mix, that are staying with you for what seems like weeks, but in fact is a matter of days, can almost bring divorce and carnage to your otherwise ‘reasonably’ calm household.
Feelings of being overwhelmed and overloaded are all too common. But don’t jump off the ledge, don’t even dangle your feet. There’s always a solution.
Here’s a very quick 4 step routine you can do, everyday to maximise your good mood. It’s best to start it, as early as when you open the first door on the advent calendar, so you can train your mind into being positive. But any day you start is better than not starting at all.
1. Start the day with good intention
Upon waking, no matter how much sleep you’ve had, ask yourself some positive questions…
“Why is today the day good things are going to happen?”
“Why are all these amazing events happening in my life that I am truly thankful for?”
“Why am I feeling so fit and healthy today?”
“How can it get any better than this?”
Our minds love things to work out. Asking a positive question instructs our mind to respond with “Oh you want good things to happen today and be fit and healthy, I can do that” By ending with “How can it get any better than this” instructs our mind to find ways of making our life even better than it is already. This may not work on the first day, but stick with it, set your intent and your will be rewarded.
2. Good morning routine
Take a moment to recognise what is important to you, to start the day right. If a morning shower is needed for you to feel human, make sure you make time for it. Set the alarm ten minutes earlier, do that first before you get bogged down with other tasks that other people need you to do.
Carve out a bit of time to do some yoga stretches or deep breathing. A five minute morning mediation, can put your mind and body on a positive path and help elevate stress throughout the day.
3. Take regular mind breaks
If you have a “monkey mind” worrying about work, relatives, end of school year kids performances to find costumes for, Christmas shopping to buy, no money in the bank account, credit card up to the max, seeming like no way out. You need to remember you can’t be as effective running on emotional empty.
Set at least a few minutes aside every couple hours to say
“STOP, I choose to stop this negative spiral”
Think of your main worry, rate the worry out of 10 (10 being the worst it can be). This is your SUDS rating (Subjective Unit of Distress rating). Really own the problem, know how you know it’s troubling you, really feel it, hear it, see it. Then using two fingers, tap the acupressure points shown on the diagram or imagine the pressure of your fingers (this is a handy tip if you’re in a crowded room).
Gently tap at the inner edge of your eyebrow, say release and let go
At the side of the eye, release and let go
Under the eye, release and let go
On the collar bone, release and let go
Then take a deep breath in and out, hold onto your wrist and say “peace”
In your mind go to a restful memory you have on the beach, or something that made you happy today or some other time.
Go back and check the worry you had, rate it out of 10 again. If it’s gone down, good, keep doing this routine until it’s down to 1 or 0.
If it’s gone up, that’s fine, it shows you’re identifying with it. Repeat the routine again. Make sure you stay on the same worry, as your mind will try to bring in other references to a similar problem. Clear one at a time. Once you’re feeling calmer about this issue, move onto another one, repeat the process.
Always finish on a good memory. Training your mind to recognise stress and how you feel, releasing it from your body and then setting your mind onto a positive thought pattern, enables the neurons to reconnect. This is Neuro plasticity, brain training. Like anything, the more you practice, the easier it becomes.
Feeling good is a skill you can master, even in highly stressful situations. Instead of feeling down and heavy at certain times of year, because lots of bad experiences have happened you can train your mind to feel positive.
This technique is about fully acknowledging them, owning how you feel, then letting it go and feeling relaxed and accepting. Thus leading to feeling good and happy.
4. Happy ever after
At the end of the day, go through any events that you got angry about, or regretted, or didn’t turn out the way you would have wished and for each one in turn say to yourself…
“I am thankful for the knowledge and wisdom I now have. I forgive myself, I forgive others, I’m sorry, I love you”
If you find yourself resisting forgiveness of something you or someone did, recognise what that means to you, where you feel it, what you see and hear. Then repeat the process.
Adding tapping to this routine (see point 3) will speed up the process to feeling calm.
You could also, watch in your mind the negative experience being pushed away across a calm ocean, taking deep breathes and then bring it back again. Imagine yourself floating on the ocean, gently rocking and soothing yourself. Check how you feel and push it away again. Each time the memory should feel better, until you can accept it and feel good in yourself.
There’s also the book technique. Dr Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist, says our mind is a reference library, any memories we have are stored in files. We can choose to put any unresolved issues into a book, close it and place it on a high shelf and leave it there until we have time and energy to look at it.
We then take down a beautiful book, with fantastic pictures and memories in it and leave this open at the side of us while we sleep.
The last thing we say to ourselves before we drift off, is “tomorrow is going to be a good day where I will feel happy, content and at peace with myself”
I’d love to hear of any techniques you use to calm your “monkey mind”.
Please say hello, contact me via my website www.kasona.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 0414 973394.