It’s the most wonderful time of year…. Except when it isn’t. The emotions are running high right now with more people, more money, more food, more festivities and more stress than ever before. How can you stay ahead of the emotional dragons that slay you this time of year? I’m not gonna lie…it’s hard. It’s hard to focus on what’s important when you’re constantly being pulled in a hundred different ways and aren’t sure which way you should go.
Emotions are contagious. The room you walk into is already full of emotions others have cast off. You can’t help but let those seep onto you. But can you?
Don’t Let Emotions Control You
It’s so easy to react as soon as someone else’s emotions start to surface. Your natural defense is to respond to the energy they are sharing. Remember that emotions are contagious…both the good ones and the bad ones. Let’s work on keeping the emotional baggage to a minimum this season with these 3 tips:
1. Notice the Feeling
Think of a situation that has recently caused you anxiety of stress. Maybe the gift exchange rules changed or you can’t make it to a big dinner you had planned on attending. Take a minute to visualize that situation as clearly as possible and watch the feeling of anxiety or stress arise. Notice what feelings are arising within you.
2. Observe the Feeling
Calmly, observe what these feelings are like. (It’s important to realize this is part of the process!) Are you feeling right now? Do you feel the heat in your upper body or tightness in your chest? Observing the feeling not only helps you better understand the emotion, it also puts space between you and the emotion.
When you don’t notice and observe a powerful emotion, it consumes you. As a result, instead of just noticing and observing the feeling of frustration, you become frustrated, and this emotions dictate your behavior, and will cause you to act in ways that you later regret.
3. Embrace the Feeling
Noticing and observing your emotions puts space between you and them. Instead of being frustrated, you simply notice and observe the sensations associated when frustrations arise and, eventually, fade away.
In this space, there is freedom for you to embrace your emotions. Freedom to experience your emotions vividly, but not be controlled by them, freedom to act how you want to act regardless of what emotion you’re feeling. Soon you’ll begin to realize that while we can’t always control what emotions we feel, we always have the option to control how we react to them.
The bottom line is we can’t control how others act. But we can control how we react to them. Here’s to happy holidays, stress free gatherings, and lots of hot chocolate under the tree!
with Glitter & Grace, Sasha Gray, CMLC
Certified Master Life Coach Certified Master Mindset Coach
Certified Business Coach