How do you want to feel during this holiday season? Or any day for that matter? Calm, empowered, productive, happy, loved, appreciated, healthy…?
You truly have the power to choose!
Over the past two decades, I have professionally and personally witnessed the benefits of intention as healing patients recovered and rewired their brains. If a patient does not have the intention to heal and feel stronger, their hospital stay will last longer or they will not get out of bed or they need more medication. Personally, I watched my father with Diabetes unexpectedly require a triple bypass operation. He made the intention that he would not need additional cardiac rehabilitation. He shocked the nurses with his drive to walk the floor as soon as possible and healed beautifully, no cardiac rehabilitation needed.
Intention can prevent us from succumbing to the negative effects of stress. Chronic stress (stress over multiple days) will affect our physical, emotional, and cognitive health. Depleting us while juggling a list of “to do” items this month is not the goal. Stress, overwhelm, and negative emotions are contagious, BUT so are positive emotions. If we do not mindfully and consciously decide how we want to feel, it is easy to move through the day on auto-pilot or to get bounced around by the day’s events and responsibilities.
One of the best ways to ensure that this holiday is a celebration for you and your loved ones at home, at work, or in the community is to set intentions. Intention is the first step in creating what we need or want to accomplish each day. It prepares the brain to initiate and focus. When intention is combined with conscious decision-making and then followed by specific action, watch out! It is a powerful combination and puts you on the path to be in the world in a way that feels best for you.
Here are the steps to enjoy more and stress less (these will be supportive anytime of the year):
- Identify how you want to feel. This is an empowering strategy which is even more helpful during the holidays when you may be surrounded by others and their strong emotions.
- Write these feelings and emotions down for yourself.
- Ask your loved ones and those close to you how they want to feel over the holidays. Consider writing these responses as well. Note any overlap or similarities. What are the differences?
- Create goals or specific action steps that will support any feelings and emotions you have identified.
- Sit down with your calendar or planner individually or as a couple or a family. Make a concrete plan by prioritizing and scheduling the actions and events that will support the most powerful and positive feelings. If there are obligations, schedule time to rest or recharge after each one.
Now is certainly a time to connect and take care of the greatest presents that you have in this world, the people you love and that includes yourself.
Wishing you quality time, genuine enjoyment, and less stress during this Holiday Season.