How to Deck The Halls While Dreading Boughs of Holly
by Dr. Carole Stokes-Brewer
There's a ball of self-torture throbbing inside. You just want to go away, but you feel trapped and can't get away. Instead you have to pretend as though everything is fine, act as though you are well, and smile like you mean it. However, the Holidays have ways of finding you. The comics and drama of family tend to annoy you. What do you say to the inquiring relatives and friends who haven't seen you for a while? How do you act with the one who wants to know too much? Maybe there's alcoholism and other disturbing family scenes.
That nagging, throbbing, painful lump inside is crying out for relief and just wants to avoid everyone... but you can't. You have to go and show social grace to all. How do you do it? Here are three ways to help:
1. Breathe into discomfort
Do you know the kind of relief you feel just by sighing? There's something to that. You feel better when you can let go of something. One study proved that even your heart rate and blood pressure decrease with a sigh. This brings me to the power of breathing deeply. It gives us energy, it can be calming and it helps us let go of unpleasant thoughts. And yes, this has a positive effect on our health.
2. Tell yourself that this will pass
Like an ever-moving stream, nothing stays the same. Emotions come and go, situations change, and if we're open, we can always do something differently. Sometimes it's interesting to wonder what the outcome might be like. Just do one thing differently. You'll feel better when it's over, and might even look forward to it again.
3. Believe that personal connections do make a difference
Get out of our own way and connect with someone can be healing in itself. Connect with someone on a level you haven't done before. Find a new meaning in the connection. Can you remember a time that you did something for someone and how good that made you feel? Doing for others is doing for yourself. Remember the love and warmth of those who do wish to connect with you, even if their ways seem odd. They mean well. So now that the holidays are here, go out there and enjoy decking the halls with boughs of holly and sing out loud, fa la la la la, la la la la. Article
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