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Monday, November 19, 2012
Mimi Donaldson Offers Holiday Stress Busting Tips
it comes again--the season of giving AND receiving. You know how you'll be
"receiving" some family and friend obligations you never receive
except during the two months ahead? Once you CHOOSE
to receive, you now get to choose your attitude and behavior. In my book, Bless Your Stress: It
Means You're Still Alive!I define
"bless": to redirect the force of your energy so that you affirm
your existence and embrace the whole of your life. This establishes the
foundations of your own happiness. Yeah...but NOW,
in THIS economy? And with THAT
family coming over? Well here are 4 tips to improve your ability to focus
on what matters:
1. Check your mental baggage.
have memories from past holidays. A lot of us haul around a hefty load of
stress connected to the holidays of the past. According to Mental Health
America, "memories" account for close to 50% of all the sources
of holiday stress. The problem is we don't realize it. Remember after that
one run-in with your mother-in-law, you vowed to never cook a green bean
casserole dish again for the family dinner, yet here you are en
route...with yet another covered dish and a sour mood. And some of our New
Year's Eve memories aren't as magical and joyous as the '40s movies
portray. Imagine having a mandatory Stress Security Check Points Mental Detector (I
don't mean "metal"). Imagine being scanned with an Attitude Wand
(like the ones they use in airports), only these wands would check for
what's weighing down your mind. Then, you can't take it with you!
into your Personal Control Panel.
"Personal Control Panel" controls what happens in your mind.
Remember to push "Play" but skip the "Fast Forward"
because, as Gandhi famously said, "There is more to life than
increasing its speed." Also, "Fast Forward" can lead to
self-fulfilling prophecy scenarios in your head, "Oh I know what's
going to happen: I'll buy too much food; I'll buy too little food; the
store will run out of
food." Make full use of the "Pause Button," meaning to take
a deep breath and take stock before letting a stress trigger make you go
Practice the fine art of patience.
key element of blessing your stress is to practice "wait
lifting," or the ability to wait and have patience in today's 24/7,
frenetic "now" culture. Patience is how you handle the wait of
the world. By starting with the light waits--the computer doesn't boot up
fast enough or the traffic light takes too long to change--you can work up
to medium and heavy waits.
full use of your "Internal Whistle."
means what it means in football. To stop the action, the whistle blows. We
need to take a deep breath and take stock before letting a stress trigger
or a whiney nephew make you go nuts and say something you'll regret.
end of the day, and holiday, it comes down to cultivating the rare quality
of perspective. Bring a "light take" on stress, so at least the
stress doesn't last long. During the holidays, besides decking the halls,
be sure to play the deck you're dealt and find your trump card. It may be
that you are still alive to celebrate. Remember: there are at least 10 ways
your holiday table with those people
is better than a hospital bed. Trust me, I know. Been there, done that, got
the t-shirt. So have a merry month ahead, and get into the New Year's
the full-length version of this article, check out my blog
more Bless Your Stress?
Purchase the book on my website!