You can absolutely give the best of yourself and find joy over the holidays if you retain a positive attitude and focus on the good in your life, not stress.
Can you believe the holiday season is upon us? Then again, I suppose we probably say this every year because no matter what happens in our lives, time keeps on ticking. This last week I held several webinars on "How Maintaining Joy Can Change Your Life." It is so easy to focus on stress and lose sight of what makes us happy, grateful, and content when we aren't feeling optimistic. When we fail to do this, it affects our attitude and how we project ourselves to others.
Focus on Freedoms, not limitations.
When we have a negative mindset, it affects our behaviour, interaction with others and steals our joy. If I can offer one suggestion to help you manage your emotions during the holidays, it's this; keep your attitude positive and focus on your freedoms rather than your limitations. Yes, reduce your stress level and concentrate on what you have and what you can do. This positive attitude will make it easier to hold on to your joy during the holidays when emotions can get the better of us.
When we pay attention to our limitations, we restrict and affect our attitudes and behaviour, creating stress, reducing our positive feelings and joy.
Being Proactive will make your Holidays easier.
In Stephen Covey's, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he states, "The more you focus on what you can influence, the more you will find you are able to influence." Instead of reacting to or worrying about conditions over which we have little or no control, proactive people focus their time and energy on things they can control. The problems, challenges, and opportunities we face fall into two areas – Circle of Concern and Circle of Influence.
Proactive people focus their efforts on their Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about – an excellent example of this over the holidays would be: getting enough rest and exercise, organizing your children, setting a schedule that works for your family, spending time on the things you choose.
Reactive people focus their efforts on the Circle of Concern. Such as things over which they have little or no control: The weather, your mother-in-law's opinions, the conflict between aunt Jean and cousin Bill(!), the desire to want to give to everyone, but simply not having the means. Gaining an awareness of the areas in which we expend our energies is a giant step in becoming proactive and reducing our stress levels.
Our attitude changes everything. We have the power to focus on things in life that are not fair continuously, or we can focus on the things that are going well and accept that life isn't perfect and admit we will encounter daily challenges that most often pass quickly.
Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
REMEMBER, even if you can't control the situation: you always have a say in what's happening, positively influencing your feelings. Take a closer look at how you are reacting to the problem. If you are focusing on restrictions, you will feel demoralized. That type of negativity makes you feel helpless and reduces joy in your life.
Control plays a significant role in our lives. The key to managing our busy world is to release things that we can't control, spend time focusing on, and become skilled at the things we can control and practise gratitude. To move forward positively, we must accept there aren't too many things we can control.
Catherine Goldberg identifies seven things that you can control in life:
- Your Breath
- Your Self-talk
- Your Gratitude
- Your Body Language
- Your Mental and Physical Fitness
- Your Diet
- Your Sleep
This year, consider ways to eliminate stress and celebrate everything you can do with your family and friends during the holidays. Embrace the possibilities and create positive, joyful memories that bring out the best in you. Take time to reflect and find joy this holiday season. Be sure to check out many more motivational blogs here.
This article was originally published on December 17, 2016, and updated (December 2020).
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