As wonderful as the holidays are, we often feel stress associated with them when it comes to things like family dynamics, time management, financial strains, and overeating.
Visualization is an amazing tool that I use all year long before meetings, teaching sessions, meals and difficult conversations. It is also especially helpful during the holidays. For example, you may have a relative that inevitably pushes your buttons year after year by asking the same question that triggers you like no other. Something along the lines of, “Still haven’t lost that weight? or “Still haven’t met that special someone?” In years past you may have wanted to poke this inquisitive relative’s eye out with a candy cane, but this year, by practicing visualization you will be much more prepared to handle any situation or conversation with grace and ease. Follow these steps and watch the magic unfold:
1. Close your eyes and imagine someone saying something to you that really pushes your buttons.
2. Notice the sensations that arise in your body. Do you feel anxious, agitated, or frustrated? Does your heart start beating faster?
3. Take a deep breath. Exhale out all the stress that you feel.
4. As you inhale, choose what feelings you bring into your body. Is it more stress, or is it peace, calm, and joy?
5. Imagine reacting to this question or comment with a smile, or a polite question of your own. Maybe you find a discrete way to change the subject. Whatever you choose to do as this scenario plays out in your head, YOU are in control of the conversation. You can calmly and confidently steer it in a more comfortable direction.
Now open your eyes and notice the sensations in your body. Do you feel calmer and more in control?
The more you practice with visualization the more prepared you will be for the real deal. Remember, you can’t control what other people say, but you can control your reactions. Nobody has the power to make you feel small unless you give it to them!
I know that visualization will help to make this the best and most relaxing holiday season ever.