Stressed About the Holidays – Stop Worrying and Enjoy the Season

holiday stress300By Kathryn Yarborough -

Many people get stressed about the holidays. In a 2006 survey given by the American Psychological Association, lack of money was the highest ranking stressor. Given that in 2009 even more people worry about money and the economy, could that mean that even more people are and will be stressed about this holiday season?

If you would like to stop worrying about the holidays take a few moments now and consider what this time of year means to you. The holiday season is a special time for most of us. In late November, United States citizens celebrate Thanksgiving. In late December or early January, many religions honor a special day or days. And all of us in the northern hemisphere experience the shortest days and longest nights of the year.

What do the holidays that you celebrate really mean to you? If they include gift exchange, do you want to participate in this? If you do, does it really matter if you buy gifts for everyone on your list. If you really want to give family members, friends, or co-workers a gift, do you have to spend a lot of money?

Now is a good time to let go of stressful ways of thinking about this season. If you create new intentions now, as you think about the Thanksgiving and the winter solstice holidays, you don’t have to get stressed at all. There’s a great technique I use that helps me identify what I really want. Regarding the holidays, make a list of every thing you don’t want to experience like:

stress family tension worries about money guilt about not buying the right present

Then use that list to ask yourself what you do want. For example, if I don’t want to experience stress, what do I want? I might answer, “I want to feel relaxed and at ease during the holidays and enjoy the people I’m with.” Once you’ve answered this question for all the things on your don’t want list, you’ve now got a great list from which to create intentions for the season. Mine would be, “I intend to feel relaxed and at ease during the holidays and enjoy the people I’m with.” If you remind yourself of your intentions from now until then, it will invite your brain to create a new more joy filled experience.

Most of us focus on the negative — what we’re worried about — and because of the Law of Attraction, usually we get more of what we don’t want. This process of identifying what we do want and creating intentions from that list gets us out of the habit of thinking about what stresses us and opens the doorway to let in a stress-free way of life.

Kathryn Yarborough writes about her twenty favorite stress management techniques on her website [] and teaches workshops and trainings. She is a registered dance/movement therapist, manifestation coach, integrative breathworker, and the founder of the Center for Embodied Consciousness in Columbia, Maryland. She began her personal growth journey in her twenties and in her writing and teaching shares what she’s learned through it and her professional training.

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