As the holiday season approaches, the rollercoaster of emotions can also start feeling a little overwhelming. 🎢
And, it’s perfectly okay to acknowledge that.
Our happiness is intricately woven with the emotions we choose to embrace and those we aim to regulate.
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” —Oscar Wilde
We all have a good understanding of what “self-awareness” means, but today we’ll add another concept…
Emotional Regulation is not about suppressing emotions; it’s about understanding them, feeling them, and ultimately gaining control over them.
Today, I’ll share with you a 4-step formula to succeed at this emotional game that awaits you these holidays.
Let’s dive in…
Step 1: Identify Your Emotion 🎭
The first step to understanding what’s really going on within is identifying your emotions.
Take a moment to think about a situation that’s currently causing you stress or frustration.
Using the feelings wheel, pinpoint the exact emotion tied to that situation.
Step 2: Breathe and Be Aware 🌬️
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and be present.
Notice the thoughts that emerge when you’re in the midst of that overwhelming emotion.
You decided to be in charge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year (yay!).
The day is here and between the chaos of family arriving and inappropriate comments from people who think we’re still in the 80s, turns out everybody is a turkey expert and they all have a different opinion on how to cook it.
Anxiety hits and you immediately start catastrophizing the situation…
- “What if my holiday dinner isn’t Martha Stewart level? I’ll be judged and labeled a failure.”
- “I’m stressing that my family will break out the ‘Joy-O-Meter’ and catch me with a not-so-joyful score. They’ll think I’m not grateful for the holidays.”
- “What if the kids don’t like the gifts I got them? It’s such a letdown if they don’t enjoy what I’ve planned for them.”
- “I feel overwhelmed by the pressure to create magical moments during the holidays. What if I can’t live up to the festive expectations?”
- “What if I say or do something that ruins the family gathering? I’ll be the one remembered for the holiday disaster.”
These thoughts often involve imagining the absolute worst-case scenario, leading to heightened anxiety and stress.
Step 3: Challenge Your Thoughts 💪
Once you’ve identified those triggering thoughts, challenge them.
Ask yourself: “Is it true?”
Challenge the extreme scenarios your mind may create. The act of questioning diminishes their power over you.
If you haven’t read Byron Katie’s “Loving What Is” I highly recommend it. It was a game-changer for me.
These are my to-go 4 questions to challenge the thought:
- Is it true?
- Can you absolutely know it’s true?
- What goes down when you’re hooked on that thought?
- If you ditched the thought, who would you be?
And don’t forget the magical turn-the-thought-around trick.
Step 4: Rate Your Emotion 📊
On a scale of 1 to 100, gauge the intensity of the emotion you’re feeling.
As you challenge your thoughts, observe how that emotion begins to decrease.
You’ll realize that your emotions are not fixed; you have the power to influence them.
“I do not fix problems. I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves.” — Louise Hay
Remember, emotions are not categorically good or bad; they simply are. This holiday season, you’ll experience a spectrum of emotions.
The key is to regulate the negative emotions and amplify the positive ones.
Be present for moments of love, joy, and true happiness. They hold the energy to manifest the life you deserve.
Wishing you a holiday season filled with emotional mastery, self-discovery, and an abundance of love.
“The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be” – Shakti Gawain
Image Credit: Anna Alexes