Updated: May 25, 2021
Joy, like attention and compassion, is an intention, cultivation, and a practice.
Are you not feeling particularly cheery this time of year? You’re not alone. Nearly 40% of adults report feelings of increased stress during the holiday season due to various demands, ranging from traveling, baking to separation from family, financial pressures, and excessive commitments, leaving many feeling exhausted, guilty, resentful, and stressed out.
While we can’t always change a stressor, we have to power to change how we react to it: Using positive self-affirmations can be a powerful way to manage your stress reaction and enhance your resiliency by cultivating an optimistic mindset to deal with whatever is coming your way!
What Are Positive Self-Affirmations, and Do They Work?
According to the Law of Attraction, what you think and feel shapes your reality; and the power of affirmations ( (sometimes called “self-affirmations”) lies in their ability to transform your external world by first changing your internal one by helping challenge and overcome self-sabotaging negative thoughts. This may seem unrealistic, "wishful thinking." But try looking at affirmations this way: many of us do repetitive exercises to improve our physical health, and affirmations are positive mental repetitions that can reprogram our thinking patterns so that, over time, we begin to think – and act – differently.
How do I use positive affirmations?
Positive affirmation can be used for all sorts of goals, from self-confidence to career and abundance, or to help cope with stressful life situations. Their only limitations are the ones you place on them.
While there are no rules, I like to choose an affirmation that resonates with any stress-provoking feelings each morning. Sometimes I think it, sometimes I write it, somedays I say it out loud. Do what feels right for you.
When you first start saying these phrases, they might not necessarily be true. But they should be designed to reflect what you want to be true. It is important to note that when positive affirmations become unrealistic, they can trigger more anxiety as our subconscious mind notes that the ideas aren't realistic. So it's essential to remain grounded in realistic and factual statements that are also positive. It might also be beneficial to set aside a specific time that you dedicate to your affirmations as they will not be as effective if you rush through them on the way out the door rather than taking the time to visualize what you are saying truly!
So when you find yourself feeling stressed, anxious, or caught up in negative mental chatter, use these empowering affirmations as your guide back to a sense of calm and a joyous Season.
I create a joyous and bright Holiday Season. I know that if I want to enjoy the holidays, it is up to me to create a positive experience. I refuse to allow old beliefs of stress and obligation to cloud my thoughts.
Instead, I choose to embrace the Season with arms wide open. I will listen to my favorite holiday music to set the mood, hum my favorite songs, watch one of my favorite holiday movies or have fun baking for my friends and neighbors and smelling the scents of the season.
Whatever I do this year, I do with positive intent. I ensure that my motives are pure and from the heart, and I will find joy in where I am. I take care of my needs, as well. I may even enjoy holiday treats without regret.
I am framing the Holiday Season with an optimistic point of view. Today, I laugh at myself for making it so hard before. If only I had known how easy it is to change my whole holiday experience! Luckily, I have learned. This year, I am creating a merry and bright Holiday Season.
How can I reframe old Holiday behavior into a joyous and bright season?
What can I do to simplify and streamline the process?
Who could I help to be merrier during the holidays? How can I help them?
I wish you a joyful season with good health and loving people around you!
Netsanet Tegegn, LCSW, is a Psychotherapist in Virginia Beach who provides individualized counseling services for those who wish to create long-lasting and positive changes in their lives...