Dreaming of a Stress Free Christmas

It’s just a few weeks now until the big day and the Christmas rush has already started!  Rushing to do the present shopping; the present posting; the big supermarket shop; to drop kids off at their Christmas parties; to get to the school nativity on time; to get all those work things done before you take a few well deserved days off; to get the presents wrapped; the decorations up; the cards delivered…the list goes on…

And all this rushing around takes its toll – we get short tempered and snap at the children, we get frustrated trying to find a parking space at the shops, we mutter under our breath in the queue in the post office which is going to make us late for the nativity, and the final straw comes when you get home and the postman has left one of those little cards saying the parcel you desperately need is at a depot half and hours drive away which closed 20 minutes ago and we just can’t hold it all in anymore.  The Christmas meltdown strikes – we feel tearful, angry, frustrated and tired with a lot of the frustration directed at ourselves as this happens to us every year.

Up and down the country this is how the lead up to Christmas goes – it’s making my stress levels rise just writing about it!  And all that extra stress starts to have an impact on our physical health too.  How many of us rush around so much to get everything perfect for Christmas Day and then end up going down with a bug the day before which stays with us right through the Christmas break?  Sound familiar?

But it doesn’t have to be like this, there is another way.  Close your eyes for a moment, take a couple of deep breaths and imagine a calmer Christmas, one where you can relax and have fun, one where you have time to enjoy the Christmas shopping and festivities and feel excited about visiting friends and relatives, one where you have time to indulge yourself rather than just looking after everyone else.  How amazing would that be?

But it doesn’t have to be just a figment of your imagination – it can truly happen that way!

As hypnotherapists we know that it isn’t Christmas itself that is stressful – we know that many people have a stress free, calm, relaxing Christmas. It’s our own thinking about Christmas that gets us stressed.  As our stress levels rise our primitive brain perceives it as a threat and responds accordingly with a fight or flight response which typically plays out through a short temper, excessive worry and negative thinking, sleep problems, upset tummy, tiredness, difficulty concentrating and even an increased chance of picking up colds and bugs.

So why does this happen?  Increased levels of stress lead to us releasing more of our stress hormone, cortisol, which not only impairs our immune system making us more susceptible to colds and bugs, but it also leads to increased headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, insomnia, fatigue, muscle aches and pains and difficulty concentrating.

In other words our primitive brain has kicked in to help us “survive” Christmas. Ironically this is exactly what we don’t need – that primitive brain response actually makes us feel worse!

To have that nice calm, relaxing Christmas we all crave we need to put our primitive brain back in it’s box! It’s our worrying thoughts that gets our primitive brain kicking in and as most of the things we worry about either aren’t that important or don’t happen anyway it is wasted thinking. It’s how we think that determines how we feel and how we feel that determines how we behave – so if we can take control of how we are thinking about Christmas then we’re on to a winner!

So when you find yourself worrying about whether you put enough brandy in the Christmas cake, or if you’re going to have enough cheese and biscuits for all the guests hit the pause button, take a couple of deep breaths, and ask yourself is it really that important? What is the worst that could happen, really?  It’s time to kick that primitive brain into line to recognise the thought as a wasted thought and instead replace it with a positive one, one that is looking ahead to a happy Christmas, one that is excited about the festivities ahead.

And if that sounds like it’s difficult to do then maybe it’s time to get in touch with your local Inspired to Change Hypnotherapist as that is exactly what we help people to do – to refocus the mind on the positives, to help us look to the future with anticipation and excitement rather than fear and dread and to help us get back control of our thinking so that we aren’t at the mercy of our primitive brain.

And don’t forget to check out our Top Tips for a Calm Christmas! 

If you’d like to find out how hypnotherapy could help you have a stress free Christmas get in touch with your local Inspired to Change hypnotherapist and book your FREE initial consultation. 

Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are based across the UK in Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Devon, Kent, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk and Somerset.

Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are all recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association.

To find out how you can train as a solution focused hypnotherapist click here for our hypnotherapy school information