Christmas stress

Christmas can be a very stressful time, can be, if we let it. In fact any time of year can be stressful, if we look we can always find something to worry about, to stress over--- but the majority of the time we manage to keep a balance, to manage our stress levels, to stay calm

So the point is , if we normally do it why don’t we always do it--- stay calm------- seems to be the slogan on mugs, cushions, tee shirts and almost any merchandise  you can imagine.

What we Should do is not always what we Do even though its what we Can do.

Sometimes we get stressed without realising that we have let the guard down and allowed ourselves to lose control.

Control is the one thing everyone desires—doubt me?? Stop and think about any stressful situation, any incident of anxiety--- what are you saying at the moment of greatset disconfort---It’s beyond my control // I cant make --- I cant stop---- they won’t --- All the phrases that show that you feel at the mercy of others, that you are dancing to the tune of another, being forced into things you do not want.


What to do.



You need to immediately take some control, just of the immediate physical stress, that is enough to get you moving in the right direction----- Take a long deep breath--------------------------- hold it---------------------slowly------ slowly let it out. The trick is to take in enough air so that you can breath out slower, longer than you ever imagined possible.

As you breathe out you release chemicals into your system that calm you. You can feel that sense of release, relaxation, calm, peace having a real and physical effect. It is releasing the tension in your muscles. Just think what happens when something stressful happens --- you tense up, everything goes tight and ready for a fight, but sometimes your body holds that state even when it is not needed or when it mistakenly thinks it is needed--- so you have to use the over-ride button to  re-set yourself.

Smokers think that the first “Drag” on a cigarette is so powerful because it relaxes them--- Half right--- the cigarette is doing nothing beneficial—but the effort of drawing air deep into their lungs is--- that releases tension but the downside for smokers is that They are also drawing a toxic cocktail equally deep into their lungs. Smokers tend to take short breathsbecause that is what the habit of smoking requires--- so for them a deep breath is unusual and therefore , they  Beleive that the benefit is coming from something other than fresh air.


You have taken the deep breath, you’ve exhaled slowly and you have begun the relaxation process that is taking the tightness out of your muscles—hence the feeling that the knots in your stomach are  untying, notice also how your hands are less tense—feel how the hands are spreading, opening--- all signs of relaxation.

Now the blood and the energy that were being used keeping you on Red Alert can go to your brain. Your mind can  relax and begin processing information that had been put on hold while you were in no state to cope with it.

Important message--- YOU can cope with most things--- yes you can. As we live we learn, lfe is all about constantly experiencing new things and adapting our current knowledge or gaining new skills to deal with them. It is so automatic you are not aware of how much you can do. When you were born you  were totally reliant on others—you could not feed, walk, talk--- look at you now. But much much more than that look at how you cross a busy road,  how you choose a meal in a restaurant, how you interact with other people--- these are massive sets of skills that you adapt and use every day to  sustain, move, communicate how you make decisions/ assessments and choices.

Have confidence---- allow yourself to be confident, it is a good thing to be confident it means that you know what you are able to do.  Being confident lets others have faith in you, to trust you, to listen to you.

If you say I’m not confident   e.g.” If you say I am not a confident driver” people will take it that you are not a good driver--- not the same thing but that is the sort of mental leap we all make.


From stress we have moved to calm---- then from calm to cofident—

What next

In a calm state you can weigh up your options, take time to look at how various scenarios will work out, recognise the plans that are most likely to work  when you think about the skills &  personality of all the people involved which then gives you the confidence to propose your solution.

Proposing a solution is not the same as Imposing a solution.

Be prepared to compromise or accommodate the feelings and opinions of others because to make any plan work everyone needs to feel like a winner to some degree.

There was a man who’se house was in the path of a new motorway--- there was no way his house was not going to be bulldozed—one man does not stop a major plan., but------If he can walk away from that situation and say – they bulldozed my house but they let me have the bricks to build a new one it is – to him--- a victory. You may not think so but the important thing is that he is happy.

You think we have strayed a long way from Christmas stress--- we haven’t, we have the plan to deal with it--- it just so happens that it is a plan that can be applied any time of year in any situation with equally good results.

Calm down, think through, propose confidently, listen carefully, adapt quickly.

 This could be your most stress free Christmas ever----if You  make that choice.

© Martin Williams 2013/15/16