This totally describes a dear friend’s mood when the holidays roll around. Every year… he could easily be a stand-in for the Grinch. Bah-humbug! He gets really grumpy! The mere mention of hanging lights and decorations… grrrrr!!!! and double Bah-humbug!!! OK… maybe WWIII…. just sayin…here’s his idea of hanging lights…
Maybe that’s you this time of year… NO JUDGEMENT! I get it! The year-end is full of stressors… things that HAVE to be completed… the holidays… family obligations… work obligations…. leading to hectic, over-stressed, over-shopped, over-spent chaos… it is just TOO MUCH!!!
If you are like my friend, I urge you to consider changing your tune. Here’s why:
According to a study published in Psychological Bulletin, having a positive outlook can dramatically decrease your chances of having a heart attack, a stroke or cardiovascular disease. Should I mention that my friend has high blood pressure?
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reviewed over 200 studies from two major scientific databases. They found that optimistic people were around 50 percent less likely to experience an initial cardiovascular event compared to their sour-puss peers.
They also had lower blood pressure, healthier biological function, and a more ideal body weight. I think you see where I am going with this…. and you may be thinking… “Yeah, Liz, so what? HOW do I change this, huh???? How do I deal with all this stress???”
No worries, I am about to give you some tools you can use right away.
The first thing is to simply own your inner Grinch and his pal Scrooge. Becoming aware of your feelings and emotions can help you recognize you actually have a choice in the matter. The truth is that you can change how you feel on a dime! You can CHOOSE to feel differently. So, ask yourself, “How would I rather feel right now?”
Here are some ideas…
Grateful, Joyful, Interested, Serene, Hopeful, Cheerful, Confident, Enthusiastic, Satisfied, Proud, Contented, Loved, Inspired, Amused, Surprised
Choose something that makes you feel good!
The other thing you can do is ask “Whose is this?” Often we are affected by other people’s moods. We literally take them on. If it isn’t yours and it doesn’t feel good, dump it!
But wait! There’s more to it… Here’s the cool thing… Did you know that the state of your body has a huge impact on how you feel? Yup! If you have ever been over-tired and hungry… you KNOW how utterly wretched you can feel.
So, if your body is agitated, anxious, amped up, tired, worried or fearful… your feelings will reflect that.
Here is what you can do about it… to literally reset your mood!
- Relax your shoulders. Yup — just drop them and notice the difference… how it starts to calm your entire nervous system.
- Relax the muscles of your face, especially the forehead. It helps to close your eyes when you do this. You can stroke down the muscles in your jaw to help.
- Smile! It’s impossible to smile and feel grumpy at the same time. Smiling stimulates positive neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. These create feelings of joy, well-being, and euphoria. YAY!!
- Laugh! You can’t laugh and feel grumpy at the same time… nope! Can’t do it. Spend five minutes watching a funny clip on YouTube.
- Relax your breathing. Your breath is the link between your body and your mind. Breathing deeply brings balance to your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Ditto both hemispheres of your brain.
- Eat! Drink! In your busy-busy mode, maybe you have not drunk enough water. It’s easy to get dehydrated when the heating system goes on. If you are hungry, for heaven’s sake, have a little snack to get your blood sugar stabilized. Low blood sugar is a major contributor to bringing on the grumpies.
- Take a nap! Getting enough sleep is essential to well-being and mood.
- Consider going Minimalist! Most times less really is more.
As you relax and reset your body and emotional state, you can choose feelings that best support you in having a wonderful holiday season… Grinch-free!
If you’re ready to explore more methods to reduce stress, lose weight and be healthier, schedule a free call with me.